UPDATE 1-Old National to buy Monroe Bancorp in $83.5 mln deal

Wed Oct 6, 2010 10:01am EDT

* To pay $13.35 in stock, offer at 148 pct premium

* Monroe shrs more than double, highest gainer on Nasdaq

* Old National stock falls as much as 10 pct

Oct 6 (Reuters) - Old National Bancorp ONB.N said it agreed to buy Monroe Bancorp MROE.O for about $83.5 million in a stock deal to strengthen its Indiana network.

Monroe shareholders will get 1.275 shares of Old National for every share held, valuing the stock at $13.35, a premium of 148 percent to its Tuesday close. The exchange ratio will be adjusted if Old National's share price exceeds $10.98 at the time of closing of the deal. In such event, Monroe shareholders will get $14 of Old National stock for each share held, Old National said in a statement.

Bloomington, Indiana-based Monroe's banking unit, with about $850 million in assets, has 15 banking centers in central and south central Indiana.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year or early in the first quarter of 2011, it said.

Sandler O'Neill advised Old National, while Howe Barnes Hoefer & Arnett advised Monroe Bancorp.

Old National stock, which has gained about 7 percent in value in the last one month, was down 4 percent at $10.07 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange, while Monroe's stock more than doubled in value to $11.30 in morning trade on Nasdaq. Monroe touched a high of $11.98 in early trade. (Reporting by Abhinav Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)