TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — First Financial Corporation and Hancock Bancorp, Inc. jointly announced recently a definitive merger agreement between the two companies. First Financial will pay $18.38 per share in cash for each share of Hancock`s common stock outstanding totaling $31.35 million, according to a news release.

Once the merger is complete, the combined company is expected to have around $5 billion in assets, $2.9 billion in loans, $4.2 billion in deposits and 89 branch offices across Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.

“We are excited to be joining forces with another bank that has deep roots in its community,” Norman L. Lowery, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Financial, said. “Together, our team of bankers will deliver unparalleled service to our customers and communities and continue to make those communities better places to live and work. With this combination, First Financial will extend its reach into western Kentucky.”

Founded in 1888, Hancock Bank & Trust Company currently runs seven banking locations in western Kentucky. As of June 30, Hancock reported assets totaling $334 million.

“I am enthusiastic about the opportunity we have to partner with First Financial in a transaction that we believe offers significant opportunities to our clients, communities, employees and shareholders,” Claude R. Badgett, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hancock, stated. “This partnership is an excellent opportunity to create value for both institutions.”

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 and is subject to approval of Hancock`s shareholders.