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First Financial Bancorp to Acquire Bannockburn Global Forex, LLC

Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp. announced an agreement to acquire Bannockburn Global Forex, LLC, also based in Cincinnati and a capital markets firm providing transactional currency payments, foreign exchange hedging and other advisory products to more than 1,500 closely held enterprises, financial sponsors and downstream financial institutions across the United States.

“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our capital markets capabilities through the addition of the highly successful Bannockburn team,” said Archie Brown, president and CEO of First Financial Bank. “With this addition, we continue to broaden our product offering to clients, especially middle-market firms that conduct business on an international scale. In addition, we are excited about the opportunity to provide banking services to Bannockburn’s extensive customer base.”

Bannockburn was founded in 2009 and has become a force in the foreign exchange transaction and advisory market. It has completed more than $90 billion of transaction volume through more than 150,000 secure transactions. The company primarily focuses on middle-market clients that have a need for tailored foreign exchange solutions. Bannockburn has established a nationwide presence through its network of 10 office locations in key metro markets across the U.S. markets across the U.S. and has developed a reputation for customer satisfaction and industry expertise.

Upon completion of the transaction, Bannockburn will become a division of First Financial Bank with current Bannockburn leadership continuing in their positions, led by senior managing partner Mark Wendling. The division will continue to operate at Bannockburn Global Forex, taking advantage of the company’s brand recognition within the foreign exchange industry. All Bannockburn partners are expected to transition to First Financial following the transaction. The closing of the transaction is subject to various regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

“First Financial Bank gives us the opportunity to continue to move forward with our customer-first culture and to deliver what our customers have come to expect from us — flexible, customized solutions that solve currency issues that impact their business,” said Wendling. “Having access to more capital will allow us to accelerate our growth and to continue to move more up-market. We are pleased to be partnering with the First Financial management team to assist them in constructing a best-in-class commercial bank.”

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