The Bank Slate


Fed approves Old National-First Midwest merger

Old National Bancorp in Evansville, Ind., has received approval from the Federal Reserve to buy First Midwest Bancorp in Chicago. 

The Fed announced its approval of the $2.5 billion acquisition on Thursday. 

The $24.5 billion-asset Old National agreed in June to buy the $21.8 billion-asset First Midwest. The deal is expected to close by early this year. 

The merger has met some resistance. 

Several consumer advocacy groups asked regulators in July to conduct public hearings to look at Old National’s lending in low-income areas. The Fair Housing Center of Indiana filed a lawsuit against Old National last fall that alleged mortgage discrimination. 

Old National denied the claims in the lawsuit. 

Old National shareholders will own 56% of the company, which will have dual headquarters in Evansville and Chicago. 

Jim Ryan, Old National’s chairman and CEO, will remain CEO, while Michael Scudder, First Midwest’s chairman and CEO, will become executive chairman. The 16-member board will be evenly split with Old National and First Midwest directors.

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