July 13, 2016 / 4:05 PM / 3 years ago

Huntington Bancshares wins antitrust approval for bank buy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Huntington Bancshares Inc (HBAN.O), which owns Huntington National Bank and has branches in six states, has won U.S. antitrust approval to buy FirstMerit Corp FMER.O, the Justice Department said on Wednesday.

To win approval, they agreed to sell 13 bank branches in northeastern Ohio, two in Ashtabula county and 11 in Stark County, the department said in a statement.

The deal, estimated to be worth about $3.4 billion, must still be approved by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

“We will announce the buyer for these (divested) branches and their assets following the determination by the Department of Justice of the buyer’s competitive suitability, which determination is still pending,” Brent Wilder, a spokesman for Huntington said in an email statement. “The divestiture of the branches to the buyer is also subject to the regulatory approval of the relevant banking agency.”

Ohio-based Huntington is in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia while FirstMerit is in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by David Gregorio and Diane Craft

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