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  • Business leaders off to Japan
    John Sampson, president and CEO of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, will lead a delegation of representatives from Fort Wayne Metals, Indiana Michigan Power and the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp.
  • Jobless rate falls to 4.9%
    The bleeding stopped last month. Unemployment in metro Fort Wayne declined to 4.
  • Atz’s shuts restaurants after ‘awful hard’ year
    Atz’s Ice Cream, which once made ice cream in Kendallville and operated two restaurants in Fort Wayne for more than 50 years, has abruptly closed its stores.

Metal fabricator to expand in Hamilton

A $2.3 million investment in equipment further boosts Triton Metals Products’ presence in Hamilton, officials say.

The Steuben County Economic Development Corp. announced the project Wednesday. The investment will result in four new jobs. The average wage at the company is $14 to $15 an hour. Installation of the new equipment will begin in coming months.

Since relocating to Hamilton from Bryan, Ohio, four years ago, Triton has invested $5.4 million and added 64 jobs, excluding the project announced Wednesday.

The company will save about $48,000 on a five-year tax abatement, which was approved by the Hamilton Town Council.

Triton Metal Products is a fabrication shop that manufactures parts for the heavy truck, medical, military, aerial lift, agriculture, food processing and motor home industries.

Old National to acquire Lafayette Savings Bank

Old National Bancorp on Wednesday announced plans to acquire Lafayette Savings Bank in a stock and cash deal estimated at $66.7 million.

Old National will pay $10.63 cash plus 2.269 shares of common stock for each share of LSB Financial. Old National shares closed at $13.68 Tuesday. Both companies trades on the Nasdaq stock market.

The deal, subject to regulatory and LSB Financial stockholder approval, is expected to close by the end of the year, officials said.

Old National has $9.5 billion in assets and 166 branches. Lafayette Savings Bank has $344 million in assets and has five full-service branches.

It is the largest bank headquartered in Lafayette.

This is the latest in a string of acquisitions by Old National, which is based in Evansville. The bank completed its $110.3 million acquisition of Fort Wayne’s Tower Bancorp on April 25.

Vera Bradley signs Japan distribution deal

Vera Bradley Inc. has signed a five-year agreement giving Look Inc. exclusive rights to market and distribute Vera Bradley products in Japan, officials announced Wednesday.

Mitsubishi Corp., a partner of Look, has been granted exclusive rights to import Vera Bradley products into Japan for the duration of the contract.

Plans call for Look to open Vera Bradley stand-alone retail stores beginning in October. Look will also sell the handbags and other products in department stores and online in Japan.

Vera Bradley will close its 13 existing Japan stores about the same time.

The company is scheduled to report its fiscal first-quarter earnings today.