First Financial Bancorp-MainSource Financial Group merger recommended by ISS
First Financial Bancorp announced that Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass, Lewis & Co. have both recommended that First Financial shareholders vote for the proposed merger with MainSource Financial Group. In its report, Glass Lewis stated, "We find the proposed merger both strategically and financially compelling, at a fair and reasonable valuation for First Financial shareholders. The merger strengthens and expands the company's presence and franchise in a complementary manner and presents the opportunity to achieve cost savings and efficiencies (...)The company forecast $43M in annual pre-tax cost savings and has articulated a strong strategic rationale. Moreover, the transaction is expected to be accretive to EPS starting in 2018. As such, support for the proposal is warranted." The merger and related proposals have been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The proposed merger is expected to close early in 2018.