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FirstMerit to Purchase Citizens Republic for $952 Million

FirstMerit Corp. (FMER), the Akron, Ohio- based lender, agreed to acquire Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. (CRBC) for about $952 million in stock to expand into Michigan and Wisconsin.

Citizens’ investors will receive 1.37 shares of FirstMerit common stock in exchange for each of their shares, the banks said today in a statement. The deal values Citizens 18 percent higher than yesterday’s closing price, or about $23.51 per share.

FirstMerit expects to repay Flint, Michigan-based Citizens’s $345 million of Troubled Asset Relief Program preferred stock, including $45 million of deferred dividends. Following the transaction, FirstMerit will have $24 billion in assets, $15 billion in loans and $19 billion in deposits, according to the statement. The move helps FirstMerit expand into Wisconsin and Michigan and strengthens its presence in northeast Ohio, according to the statement.

“With a five-state reach that will extend from western Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, FirstMerit looks to become the bank of choice among businesses and individuals across the upper Midwest,” FirstMerit Chief Executive Officer Paul Greig said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Marcinek in New York at lmarcinek3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rick Green at rgreen18@bloomberg.net

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