FirstMerit sells four Wisconsin branches

Company gains $1.2 million from transaction

FirstMerit Corp. today announced it has sold four Wisconsin branches for an after tax gain of $1.2 million.

Akron, Ohio-based FirstMerit, which has 231 employees in Wisconsin, entered the state in 2013 when it acquired Flint, Michigan-based Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc.

Its southeastern Wisconsin branches are in East Troy, Elkhorn, Jefferson, Menomonee Falls and downtown Milwaukee. But seven of the state’s branches, including East Troy and Jefferson, have been or are being closed. When the closures are finished, it will have 38 Wisconsin branches.

FirstMerit and Huntington representatives could not be reached to determine which branches were sold. The buyer of the branches was not disclosed.

FirstMerit also on July 13 reached an agreement with Huntington Bancshares and the U.S. Department of Justice to divest 13 of its branches in Ohio as part of Huntington’s pending $3.4 billion acquisition of FirstMerit. Kevin Leissring will lead Huntington Bancshares in Wisconsin.

FirstMerit also today reported second quarter results. Net income was $58.3 million, or 34 cents per diluted share, up from $56.6 million, or 33 cents per share, in the second quarter of 2015.

The bank company reported net interest income of $186.1 million in the second quarter, up from $185.1 million in the same period a year ago. Noninterest income was $65.1 million, down from $66.6 million in the second quarter of 2015.

FirstMerit had total assets of about $26.2 billion as of June 30 and 359 branches in Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

“FirstMerit’s results in the second quarter of 2016 reflect the hard work and dedication of our employees across the organization. We continue to focus on our upcoming merger with Huntington and expect to close in the third quarter, as planned, creating one of the strongest regional banks in the country,” said Paul Greig, chairman, president and chief executive officer of FirstMerit.

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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