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First Financial Expands into Kentucky with Hancock Purchase

The $31 million deal will add locations in four counties across the state

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
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First Financial Expands into Kentucky with Hancock Purchase

Indiana-headquartered First Financial Corporation is set to acquire Hancock Bank & Trust in a transaction valued at just over $31 million.

The acquisition will see First Financial Corporation – which owns First Financial Bank – add Hancock’s seven premises in the Kentucky counties of Hancock, Breckinridge, Hopkins, and Warren to its network.

Following the acquisition, First Financial is expected to have approximately $5 billion in assets, $2.9 billion in loans, $4.2 billion in deposits and 89 branch offices across Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. 

Norman Lowery, president and CEO of First Financial, said: “We are excited to be joining forces with another bank that has deep roots in its community. Together, our team of bankers will deliver unparalleled service to our customers and communities and continue to make those communities better places to live and work. With this combination, First Financial will extend its reach into western Kentucky.”

Claude Badgett, president and CEO of Hancock, added: “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity we have to partner with First Financial in a transaction that we believe offers significant opportunities to our clients, communities, employees and shareholders. This partnership is an excellent opportunity to create value for both institutions.”

The deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to the approval of regulators and Hancock’s shareholders.

Elsewhere, Cadence Bancorporation announced this week that its shareholders had approved the planned merger with BancorpSouth Bank. The deal was announced in April and has been valued at more than $6 billion.

Upon completion, the Cadence Bank corporate identity will remain. The combined company stands to become the fifth-largest banking group in the Texas and the Southeast region with more than $43 billion in assets based on December 31, 2020 data.

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