First Merchants Bancorp Acquires Level One Bancorp For $323.5M

First Merchants Corporation FRME of Muncie, Indiana, is acquiring Level One Bancorp Inc. LEVL of Farmington Hills, Michigan, in a stock and cash transaction valued at approximately $323.5 million.

What Happened: The combined entity of First Merchants and Level One will have assets of approximately $17.6 billion and 122 banking offices across Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.
First Merchants will remain the second largest financial holding company headquartered in Indiana.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of 2022, pending approval from a majority of Level One common shareholders and from banking regulators. The companies did not state if there would be job eliminations as a result of the acquisition.

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What Else Happened: Level One Bank President Timothy Mackay, Chief Lending Officer and Corporate Secretary Gregory Wernette and Risk Management Officer Eva Scurlock will join the First Merchants executive team. Chairman and CEO Patrick Fehring, Chief Human Resources Officer Lani Barrett and Chief Financial Officer David Walker will step down after the acquisition is completed.

The banks did not say if there would be layoffs across the Level One workforce. However, First Merchants President Mike Stewart said his bank’s “operating approach is focused on enhancing the financial wellness and prosperity of the communities we serve.”

Price Action: First Merchant's stock is down 5.3% to $41.19 at press time, while Level One's stock is up 8.2% at $38.42.

Photo: First Merchants Bancorp

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