First Mid-Illinois expands presence in central Illinois

First Mid-Illinois expands presence in central Illinois

MATTOON – Mattoon-based First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust plans to expand its footprint in central Illinois greatly, with an agreement to acquire 10 branches from First Bank of Creve Coeur, Mo.

The acquisition would give First Mid-Illinois three offices in Peoria, one in Bloomington, two in Galesburg, two in Quincy, one in Knoxville and one in Bartonville.

First Mid-Illinois already has offices in 19 communities, most of them in East Central Illinois. The acquisition would push the bank's territory farther north and west, and it would be the first time First Mid would operate in a city the size of Peoria.

Under the agreement announced Friday, First Mid-Illinois would acquire $340 million of deposits and $150 million of performing loans from the Creve Coeur bank.

According to a filing made with the Securities & Exchange Commission, First Mid would pay a premium of 4.77 percent on deposits assumed when the acquisition closes.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2010.

"These are communities with solid economic fundamentals," said First Mid Chairman and CEO William S. Rowland in a news release. "They are on major transportation routes and have business cultures that are aligned with our approach to doing business."

In an interview Monday, Rowland said the acquisition would be the bank's largest to date, outstripping the acquisition of Heartland Federal in 1992.

"It's certainly the largest in terms of the number of branches," he said.

First Mid will absorb all the First Bank employees at those branches, expanding First Mid's employee base from about 340 to about 420, he said.

In East Central Illinois, First Mid has offices in Champaign, Urbana, Mahomet, Mansfield, Monticello, Weldon, Tuscola, Arcola, Mattoon, Charleston and Sullivan.

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