The Bank Slate


First Financial in Indiana to buy SimplyBank in Tennessee

First Financial in Terre Haute, Ind., has agreed to buy SimplyBank in Dayton, Tenn.

The $4.8 billion-asset First Financial said in a press release that it will pay $73.4 million in cash for the $702 million-asset SimplyBank. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

SimplyBank has 10 branches in Tennesse and three locations in Georgia.

“SimplyBank provides us with an opportunity to deepen our commitment to the Tennessee market while expanding into attractive new” markets, Norman Lowery, First Financial’s president and CEO, said in the release.

First Financial was advised by Raymond James and Amundsen Davis. SimplyBank was advised by Piper Sandler and Frost Brown Todd.

“We see the transaction as a positive for THFF as it is strategically compelling and financially attractive with double-digit EPS accretion and a below-market earnback,” Brian Martin, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, said in a client note.

Martin noted that the acquisition would add growth markets and a “solid low-cost deposit franchise.” The deal “enhances the earnings profile … and efficiency ratio aided by increased scale and cost savings,” he added.

There are also opportunities to leverage SimplyBank’s customer base, including bigger lending limits and more-diverse product offerings.

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