German American, Citizens First merging

Indiana’s German American Bancorp announced a deal to acquire Citizens First Corporation, Bowling Green, Ky., for $68 million in a cash and stock deal.

Citizens First has $476 million in assets, $372 million in total loans, and $389 million in deposits. It operates eight branches in Barren, Hart, Simpson and Warren Counties in Kentucky and a loan production office in Tennessee.

Jasper-based German American has $3.9 billion in assets, $2.7 billion in loans and $3.1 billion in deposits. It has 665 offices in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky.

“Citizens First has built a solid and growing community banking franchise through which German American can provide our extensive offerings of banking, insurance, and investment products and services to Citizens First’s current and prospective clients,” said Mark A. Schroeder, chair and CEO of the $3.9 billion German American. “The acquisition furthers our expansion into vibrant Kentucky markets and strengthens our local presence in the Bowling Green market area, which has demonstrated a history of dynamic growth and prosperity.”

German American will add M. Todd Kanipe, president and CEO of Citizens First, as a regional president in the combined institution.

“I am confident that this partnership is strategically and culturally compelling to both parties, and we are excited about the future of the combined company,” Kanipe said.

Additionally, three other Citizens First executive officers will join in regional roles similar to their current positions. One Citizens First director will join the board of German American after the deal closes in the third quarter.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P. served as financial advisor on the transaction to German American and Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP served as legal counsel.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods served as financial advisor on the transaction to Citizens First, Inc. and Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP served as legal advisor.