Home Savings Completes Merger with First Defiance

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – United Community Financial Corp. has completed its merger with First Defiance Financial Corp., creating an institution with roughly $6.3 billion in assets.

United Community is the holding company for Home Savings Bank and James & Sons Insurance; First Defiance is the parent of First Federal Bank of the Midwest and First Insurance Group.

Combined, the entity has $5.2 billion in deposits, $5.2 billion in loans. Operations include 77 branches, 12 loan offices and three wealth offices in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“We’re confident that our customers and communities will continue to be well served,” said President Gary M. Small in a statement. “We’re building an even stronger, relationship-focused community bank with additional branches, advanced technology and more resources to position us well for future success.”

In the transaction, UCFC shareholders received 0.3715 common shares of First Defiance for each of their UCFC share, based on the First Defiance closing price of $29.39 on Jan. 31. The transaction was valued at $527 million.

First Defiance shareholders own 52.5% of the combined company, with UCFC shareholder owning 47.5%.

The organization will have its combined headquarters in Defiance, where First Federal was based, while banking operations will be based in Youngstown.

“This is an exciting day for us as we combine two great community banks with shared values and a deep commitment to delivering smart solutions that bring lasting value to our clients and the communities we proudly serve,” said CEO Donald P. Hileman. “Our combined organization boasts the combined talent, vision and resources that will allow us to continue to grow and be the partner of choice in the communities we serve.”

A new name for the combined organization is expected to be announced in the coming months.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.