News Home
Quick Bites
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
On AirNewsClassical
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Greater Akron Chamber

Metro RTA

Hospice of the Western Reserve

For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )

Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business

FirstMerit buying Michigan bank for $912 million
Marks first expansion into Wisconing for Akron-based bank

Kabir Bhatia
In The Region:
Akron-based FirstMerit Bank announced today that it's buying a Michigan-based bank in a deal valued at nearly a billion dollars.  WKSU's Kabir Bhatia reports.
FirstMerit buying Michigan bank for $912 million

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (1:24)

FirstMerit is swapping stock to buy Citizens Republic Bank in a deal that amounts to a 13 percent premium for Citizens’ shareholders.

The combined company will have $24 billion in assets and employ more than 5,000 people in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and, in a first for FirstMerit, Wisconsin.

Case Western Reserve University banking professor William Mahnic says consolidating operations is one way banks can increase profits now that the feds are clamping down on credit-card fees.

“So if banks can’t replace the income that they used to earn, what they need to do is work on the other side of the equation.  And that’s reducing costs.  The easiest for a bank to reduce its cost, is to grow, because banks have a lot of fixed costs based in their operation center.  If they can buy another bank, eliminate their fixed costs, do their processing through the original processing center, they can save a lot of money.  And that falls to the bottom line.”

But, Firstmerit CEO Paul Greig says it’s too early to discuss details.

“The transition and integration activity in planning really begins today.  So it would be premature for us to give any specificity on what synergies will occur from a cost savings perspective.”

Prof. Mahnic also says he’s surprised more regional banks aren’t consolidating.

“Too many banks that will eventually become buyers are still recovering from the credit crisis.  And they just don’t have the balance sheet that’s necessary – or, the stock price history if they’re going to use stock as a consideration – to convince sellers to sell to them.”

Mahnic says an increase in acquisitions of smaller, regional banks is likely in the next year or two.  

As part of the Citizens deal, FirstMerit will repay the federal government about $345 million it gave Citizens’ in the banking bailout.  The entire deal is expected to close next year, and the acquired branches will re-branded as FirstMerit.
Add Your Comment


E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook

Stories with Recent Comments

Backers of legalizing marijuana in Ohio promise to be back in 2016
We should be aloud to grow more than 4 plants and not have to register with the state considering it will be a free market.

Akron says it's had no second thoughts about welcoming refugees
What business does Councilman Neal own on North Hill? I'd love to support him. I am so glad to have the refugees in our neighborhood. I have lived here for 25 ...

Scarborough says the University of Akron is trying to rebuild relationships
In order for the University of Akron to grow and become a desirable place for students across Ohio and elsewhere, it must address the crime problem in the Akron...

Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite wants to end pay-to-play sports fees at Ohio's schools
You can bet Hite and Husted will also rush to the rescue of the Academic Challenge team, the speech-and-debate squad, the Science Olympians and the chess club. ...

Ohio lawmakers consider new gun bills
States that have gun restrictions/cities have reduced gun violence is false. CHICAGO has some of the toughest gun laaws/restrictions but yet fun violence is off...

Cleveland's public transit system considers fare increase for 2016
I work with individuals with disabilities. Yes some of my folks need more help than the average person. As a whole, the group I work with however can manuver ju...

Community group sues to re-open part of Wadsworth hospital
My father was part of the founding group of citizens which started the "new" Wadsworth/Rittman Hospital. For some reason the leadership for the future of the ho...

The Cleveland Museum of Art presents painters who loved their gardens
brilliant masterpiece, Greetings from

Ohio Sen. Tom Patton proposes bill for firefighter cancer benefits
Thank you Senator Patton. On behalf of all of those who love our firefighters; we appreciate that someone is standing up for them and their continued health. ??...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University