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The Scoop

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First Bank of Berne announces acquisition

Statement issued Thursday:

Berne, Indiana and Peru, Indiana – First Bank of Berne (“Berne”) headquartered in Berne, Indiana, and AmericanTrust Federal Savings Bank (“AmericanTrust”), headquartered in Peru, Indiana, today jointly announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which Berne will purchase most loans and substantially all other banking-related assets and assume all deposits and related liabilities of AmericanTrust.

Under the terms of the Agreement, Berne will acquire all three AmericanTrust locations (Peru, Kokomo and Bunker Hill), purchase most of the loans, investments, accrued interest receivable and other banking-related assets with an estimated value of approximately $83 million and assume all the deposits, Federal Home Loan Bank advances and accrued interest payable of approximately $84 million. This transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Donald Cates, President of AmericanTrust said, “While the bank’s name will be changing, our employees’ commitment to providing unmatched customer service will remain the same. First Bank of Berne will provide expanded product and service opportunities for our customers.”

First Bank of Berne’s President & CEO, Kent A. Liechty said, “We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to expand our market presence into North Central Indiana. We are proud of the contribution our employees make to our communities, and we plan to continue that commitment to the Peru, Kokomo and Bunker Hill communities. As an employee-owned bank, we realize the importance of remaining close to our customers and building lifetime relationships. We are well capitalized and eager to serve the unique loan, investment, and deposit needs of each community.”

Established in 1891, First Bank of Berne had consolidated assets of $426 million as of June 30, 2011 and currently operates eight offices in Berne, Bluffton, Decatur and Portland, Indiana and VanWert, Ohio.

Established in 1886, American Trust currently operates three offices in Peru, Bunker Hill, and Kokomo, Indiana.

AmericanTrust was advised by Harold Hanley of Keefe, Bruyette and Woods and represented by James S. Fleischer of Silver, Freedman & Taff, L.L.P. Berne was advised by Michael A. Renninger of Renninger & Associates, LLC and represented by Michael E. Williams and Larry C. Tomlin of Kreig DeVault.

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