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First Merchants buying stake in Ind. peer

Muncie,Ind.-based First MerchantsCorp. is acquiring a 12.11% stake in Fort Wayne, Ind.-basedIndependent Alliance BanksInc., which translates into 495,112 of Independent Alliance'soutstanding common shares.

The companywill be purchasing the stake from Leland Boren and certain affiliated shareholders at$40.00 per share, with the aggregate purchase price coming in at roughly $19.8million.

Thepurchase is subject to regulatory approval and is set to close some time duringthe fourth quarter. The Sept. 20 purchase agreement also contains certaintypical termination rights for both First Merchants and the sellers.