First Farmers Financial Corporation, holding company of First Farmers Bank & Trust (“First Farmers”), and Century Bank Corp., holding company of Citizens Exchange Bank (“Citizens”), today jointly announced the signing of a definitive agreement in which First Farmers will acquire Citizens. Citizens Exchange Bank will be merged into First Farmers Bank & Trust as part of the transaction.
First Farmers, while headquartered in nearby Converse, is a regional leader in agricultural and community banking in the Midwest. On September 30, 2015, First Farmers had $1.47 billion in assets and operated 36 community bank branches in Indiana and Illinois. Citizens had $60 million in assets and operated from its single location in downtown Fairmount. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2016, subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions.
Gene Miles, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Farmers stated, “Citizens Exchange Bank is simply an exceptional bank and an organization that we have always respected as a competitor. Their leadership and employees have upheld the values and ideals of community banking and we see this as an outstanding partnership between our organizations. First Farmers Bank and Trust has served a variety of businesses and individuals in communities very similar to Fairmount and we are very confident of our ability to provide excellent customer service to the area”.
Tim Selby, Chairman of Citizens stated, “The Selby Family appreciates the community support we have had the last 122 years. Although we are selling control of the bank to First Farmers, both the community orientation and many of the familiar faces will remain. Our family is confident that the community will be very well served by First Farmers who, given the increasingly complex nature of banking, is well positioned to provide the most up-to-date services and resources to meet the higher credit needs of local farmers and businesses.”
In connection with this transaction, Renninger and Associates LLC served as financial advisor and Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP served as legal counsel to Citizens. Hunton Williams LLP served as legal counsel to First Farmers.