First Financial Completes Acquisition of Summit Funding Group

First Financial Bancorp completed its previously announced acquisition of Summit Funding Group, a Cincinnati-based equipment financing company.

“We are excited about the opportunity to provide our clients with additional services through Summit’s extensive leasing capabilities, and we look forward to the growth potential that is created through this acquisition,” Archie Brown, president and CEO of First Financial, said.

Summit Funding Group originates equipment leases and operates in all 50 states in the United States and in Canada. Currently, Summit Funding Group manages a portfolio with aggregate original equipment cost of approximately $1 billion and outstanding balances of approximately $500 million across more than 4,000 leases.

With the transaction complete, Summit Funding Group will operate as a subsidiary of First Financial Bank. Current Summit Funding Group leadership and all associates will continue in their positions, led by founder and CEO Rick Ross. As a subsidiary, Summit Funding Group will retain its name.

Lazard served as financial advisor and Squire Patton Boggs served as financial advisor to First Financial on the transaction. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods served as financial advisor and Taft Stettinius & Hollister served as legal counsel to Summit Funding Group.

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