First Financial to acquire Summit Funding Group | national news

CINCINNATI, December 7, 2021 / PRNewswire / – First Financial Bancorp (Nasdaq: FFBC) (“First Financial”) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Cincinnatibased at Summit Funding Group, Inc. (“Summit”), the fourth largest independent equipment financing platform in the United States.

“We are very pleased to join one of the most respected companies in the equipment finance industry,” said the President and CEO of First Financial. Archie brown. “By combining the scale and breadth of First Financial’s products with Summit’s national leadership position in the equipment finance industry, we are uniquely positioned to capitalize on a significant growth opportunity. As a banking partner existing of Summit, our intimate understanding of the business and management team gives us a high degree of confidence that our combined value proposition will resonate in the market. ”

Upon completion of the transaction, Summit will become a subsidiary of First Financial Bank, with the current management of Summit and all partners continuing in office, led by the Founder and CEO. Rick Ross. As a subsidiary, Summit will continue to operate under the Summit Funding Group name, benefiting from the company’s exceptional brand recognition within the equipment finance industry, particularly among small and medium-sized businesses. . Closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“With First Financial, we join a like-minded partner who is well positioned to help Summit unlock meaningful growth, while improving profitability through immediate funding synergies and sharing a commitment to excellence in corporate performance. credit, ”Ross said.

The transaction is expected to be accretive to average single digits to earnings per share of First Financial in the first year after integration (2023), and accretive to low double digits thereafter. The acquisition is in line with First Financial’s exceptional track record of strategically deploying excess capital to acquire and develop additional specialty lines of business in a disciplined manner, contributing to overall growth and delivering strong financial returns to shareholders.

Lazard served as First Financial’s financial advisor on the transaction, and Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP served as legal advisor. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, a Stifel company, was financial advisor to Summit, and Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP acted as legal advisor.

Forward-looking statements

Certain statements in this report that are not statements of historical fact constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “believes”, “‘anticipates”, “‘” “expected “,” Estimated “,” intention “and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to , statements we make about (i) our future operating or financial performance, including income, income or loss and earnings or loss per share, (ii) future dividends in common shares, (iii) our capital structure, including future capital levels, (iv) our plans, objectives and strategies, and (v) the assumptions underlying our forward-looking statements.

As with any forecast or projection, forward-looking statements are subject to uncertainties, risks and inherent changes in circumstances which may cause actual results to differ materially from those stated in forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, but only express management’s beliefs regarding future results or events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and beyond management’s control. It is possible that actual results will differ, perhaps materially, from the results or anticipated results shown in these forward-looking statements. The important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those of our forward-looking statements are, without limitation:

  • economic, market, liquidity, credit, interest rate, operational and technological risks associated with First Financial’s business;
  • future credit quality and performance, including our expectations for future loan losses and our allowance for loan losses;
  • effect and changes in policies and laws or regulatory bodies, including the Dodd-Frank Act on Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection and other laws and regulations relating to the banking industry;
  • management’s ability to effectively execute its business plans;
  • mergers and acquisitions, including the costs or difficulties associated with integrating acquired companies;
  • the possibility that any of the anticipated benefits of First Financial’s acquisitions may not materialize or materialize within the expected time frame;
  • the effect of changes in accounting policies and practices;
  • changes in consumer spending, borrowing and saving and changes in unemployment;
  • changes in customer performance and creditworthiness;
  • the costs and effects of litigation and the unexpected or adverse results of such litigation;
  • current and future economic and market conditions, including the effects of falling house prices, high unemployment rates, US tax debt, budget and tax issues, geopolitical issues, and any slowdown in growth global economic;
  • the negative impact on the U.S. economy, including the markets in which we operate, of the novel coronavirus, which is causing the 2019 global coronavirus disease pandemic, and the impact of a slowing U.S. economy and d ” an increase in unemployment on the performance of our loan and leasing portfolio, the market value of our investment securities, the availability of sources of financing and the demand for our products;
  • our capital and liquidity requirements (including under regulatory capital standards, such as Basel III capital standards) and our ability to generate capital internally or raise capital on favorable terms;
  • financial services reform and other current, current or future laws or regulations that could adversely affect our revenues and operations, including the Dodd-Frank Act and other laws and regulations relating to products and services banking;
  • the effect of the current interest rate environment or changes in interest rates or the level or composition of our assets or liabilities on our net interest income, our net interest margin and our arrangements mortgages, mortgage management rights and mortgages held for sale;
  • the effect of the fall in stock market prices on our brokerage, asset management and wealth management activities;
  • a failure or breach of our operational or security systems or infrastructure, or those of our third party vendors or other service providers, including as a result of cyber attacks;
  • the effect of changes in the level of checking or savings account deposits on our financing costs and our net interest margin; and
  • our ability to develop and execute effective business plans and strategies.

Additional factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those described in our forward-looking statements can be found in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, as well as in our other documents filed with the SEC, which are available on the SEC website at www.sec.gov.

All forward-looking statements included in this filing are made as of the date hereof and are based on information available at the time of filing. Except as required by law, First Financial assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

About First Financial Bancorp.

First Financial Bancorp. Cincinnati, Ohio bank based holding company. From September 30, 2021, the Company had $ 16.0 billion in assets, $ 9.4 billion in loans, $ 12.7 billion in deposits and $ 2.2 billion in equity. The Company’s subsidiary, First Financial Bank, founded in 1863, provides banking and financial services products through its six business segments: Commercial, Retail Banking, Investment Commercial Real Estate, Mortgage Banking, Commercial Finance and Wealth Management. These business units provide traditional banking services to businesses and individuals. Wealth Management provides wealth planning, portfolio management, trust and estate, brokerage and pension plan services and had approximately $ 3.2 billion in assets under management at September 30, 2021. The Company operated 139 full-service banking centers as of September 30, 2021, mainly in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois, while the Commercial Finance activity lends in targeted vertical sectors nationwide. Additional information about the Company, including its products, services and banking locations, is available at www.bankatfirst.com.

About Summit Funding Group

Summit Funding Group, Inc. was founded in 1993 and has since grown to become the fourth largest independent equipment finance platform in the United States, operating in all 50 states and Canada. Summit is the source of high quality equipment leases, thanks to its nationwide reputation for integrity, unsurpassed knowledge of equipment and superior customer service. Summit has also developed long-standing relationships with original equipment manufacturers, vendors and end users, resulting in reproducible, high-quality original volumes. In the United States, Summit is known for its diverse and agile platform, which allows it to finance a variety of types of equipment through various funding structures. Currently, Summit manages a portfolio with a total original equipment cost of approximately $ 1 billion and unpaid balances of approximately $ 500 million, through more than 4,000 leases.

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SOURCE First Financial Bancorp.

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