First Defiance Financial Corp., holding company of First Federal Bank of the Midwest and First Insurance Group and United Community Financial Corp., holding company of Home Savings Bank and HSB Insurance, LLC, dba James & Sons, announced Monday that they have completed their previously announced merger.

The merger brings together two Ohio community financial institutions to create a Midwest franchise with approximately $6.3 billion in assets, $5.2 billion in deposits, $5.2 billion in loans and operations throughout Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

“This is an exciting day for us as we combine two great community banks with shared values and a deep commitment to delivering smart solutions that bring lasting value to our clients and the communities we proudly serve,” said Donald Hileman, CEO of First Defiance. “Our combined organization boasts the combined talent, vision and resources that will allow us to continue to grow and be the partner of choice in the communities we serve.”

Until customer account conversions and full system integrations are completed early in the third quarter of 2020, customers will see little changes and should continue to bank as they always have at their respective First Federal Bank and Home Savings branches, loan offices and digital platforms. At this time, customers will continue to use their same checks, debit cards, online banking, etc., and will be notified well in advance of any changes.

“We’re confident that our customers and communities will continue to be well served,” said Gary Small, president of First Defiance. “We’re building an even stronger, relationship-focused community bank with additional branches, advanced technology and more resources to position us well for future success.”

The holding company of the combined organization will be headquartered in Defiance, and the bank will be headquartered in Youngstown.

“We felt this was important as both communities are a vital part of our past and future,” added Hileman.

Under the terms of the merger agreemen, shareholders of United Community received 0.3715 First Defiance common shares for each United Community common share. Based upon a closing price for First Defiance as of Jan. 31 of $29.39, the transaction is valued at approximately $527 million. Post-closing, First Defiance shareholders now own approximately 52.5% of the combined company and United Community shareholders now own approximately 47.5%.

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