An Exciting Week of Acquisitions

By John A. Polinko, Esq.

The past two weeks have, at least, been notable and, for some, exciting, in the Ohio banking industry. First, Huntington Bancshares, Inc. announced plans to acquire FirstMerit Corp. (with Huntington National Bank absorbing FirstMerit Bank).  The acquisition, presuming it closes, will result in an expanded footprint for Huntington and, reportedly, push assets over $100 billion.  Second, Chemical Financial Corp. announced plans to acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Talmer Bancorp.  Although Chemical is based and operates in Michigan, the proposed acquisition, in light of Talmer’s 27 Ohio branches, will expand Chemical’s reach into Ohio.

What does this mean for residents and businesses in Ohio and beyond? Is this the continuation of what many have seen as a consolidation trend in Ohio, or the Midwest generally?  Only time will tell.  What would seem certain, however, is that competitors of these financial institutions will use the proposed acquisitions as potential new business opportunities while, concurrently, the financial institutions themselves will use their newly expanded footprints to break in to new territories and, prospectively, new lines of business.