First Financial Buys Ind. Agency

March 10, 2004

Hamilton, Ohio-based First Financial Bancorp has purchased an insurance agency operation in Highland, Ind. The purchase arrangement was completed Feb. 1, 2004, and the agency is now operating as a full-service unit of Flagstone Insurance and Financial Services.

The purchase is not material from a financial perspective, the company said in a statement, but it will expand Flagstone’s coverage into a key market.

The principals of the insurance agency in Highland are Ted A. Havens, Doris J. Havens, and Thomas A. White. All of them have agreed to remain as producers of new business for the company that will be known as White & Havens Insurance Services.

White & Havens Insurance Services is located at 2809 Highway Avenue in Highland, a short distance from the headquarters of Sand Ridge Bank, an affiliate of First Financial Bancorp that will be closely associated with the insurance agency.

Prior to the purchase, approvals for the merger were obtained from regulatory authorities and the directors of both companies.

Flagstone, an affiliate of Bancorp’s Heritage Community Bank, was formed in 1997 and now has 26 employees. In addition to Highland, the agency also operates offices in Hamilton and Celina, Ohio, and Connersville, Ind.

A $3.8 billion publicly owned bank holding company with over 4,000 shareholders, First Financial Bancorp currently operates eight banking affiliates with 102 retail banking centers in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky, as well as an investment-advisor affiliate and an operations affiliate.

Topics Mergers Ohio Indiana

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