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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, October 11, 2018 1:00 am


Deal: First Merchants to buy bank

Staff, news services

First Merchants Corp. on Wednesday announced it has a definitive agreement to acquire MBT Financial Corp. The 100 percent stock transaction has been valued at about $291 million. 

Upon completion of the merger, Monroe Bank & Trust, will merge with and into First Merchants Bank. Muncie-based First Merchants has 16 branches in the Fort Wayne area and most recently opened its new local headquarters at Skyline Tower downtown.

Headquartered in Monroe, Michigan, MBT Financial operates 20 banking centers in southeast Michigan.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019, subject to approval from MBT shareholders and regulatory approvals. Combined assets of about $11 billion will make the company the second-largest bank headquartered in Indiana.

Treasury issues new investment rules

The Treasury Department issued new rules Wednesday on foreign investments into American companies that will give the government more power to block foreign transactions on national security grounds.

The rules, which represent the latest escalation in an intensifying economic conflict between the United States and China, will implement a program for tougher reviews of foreign acquisitions that Congress approved this summer.

The regulations will require foreign investors to alert a Treasury-led interagency committee to all deals that would give the foreign investors access to critical technology covering 27 industries, including semiconductors, telecommunications and defense.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the new interim rules will “address specific risks to U.S. critical technology” while also giving officials critical information they can use in developing the final rules.

CVS-Aetna merger gets feds' go-ahead

The proposed $69 billion merger between CVS Health and Aetna is getting a green light from the Department of Justice, with some conditions.

The Justice Department on Wednesday approved the deal on the condition that Aetna moves ahead with its plan to sell its Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business, resolving some anti-monopoly issues.

Aetna announced last month it'd sell the business for an undisclosed amount.

CVS announced plans to buy Hartford, Connecticut's, Aetna late last year. The deal is expected to give the Woonsocket, Rhode Island, drugstore chain a bigger role in health care, with the companies combining to manage care through CVS stores, clinics and prescription drugs.

Google appealing EU antitrust ruling

Google is appealing a record $5 billion antitrust fine by European Union authorities, who say the tech giant abused the dominance of its Android operating system to stifle competitors.

A company spokesman, Al Verney, confirmed Wednesday that the company has filed its legal challenge with the General Court of the EU, the bloc's second-highest court.

The EU's executive commission issued the fine in July after it found Google forced smartphone makers using Android to install the company's search and browser apps. The company also paid big phone makers to exclusively pre-install the Google Search app.