Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

Justice Department Reaches Agreement Requiring Divestitures in Merger of First Busey Corporation and Main Street Trust Inc.

On June 12, the DOJ, First Busey Corporation, a financial holding company headquartered in Urbana, Illinois, with approximately $2.5 billion in assets, and Main Street Trust Inc., a financial holding company headquartered in Champaign, Illinois with about $1.6 billion in assets, entered into a settlement where the parties agreed to sell five branch offices with approximately $110 million in deposits in Champaign County, Illinois, in order to resolve antitrust concerns about the companies’ pending merger.

Without the divestitures, the DOJ concluded, the merger likely would adversely affect competition in the local markets for commercial banking and retail banking services. The proposed merger will combine two major local banks based in central Illinois, Busey Bank of Urbana and Main Street Bank & Trust of Champaign. The merged bank will have approximately $3.6 billion in assets and $2.7 billion in total deposits.

The divestitures have been setup to ensure that consumers and businesses in the Champaign-Urbana area will continue to enjoy the benefits of competition for their commercial banking and retail banking services. The divestitures include the consumer and commercial loans associated with the divested branches. The companies also agreed that, for a period of two years, they will sell or lease any branches closed in Champaign County to a commercial bank-buyer, unless the parties obtain prior approval from the DOJ to sell or lease the branch to a nonbank bidder.

The proposed merger is subject to the final approval of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The DOJ said that it will advise the Federal Reserve Board that, subject to the firms’ divestiture of the branch offices specified in the agreement and associated loans and deposits, the Antitrust Division will not challenge the merger.


Andre Barlow

(202) 589-1834
abarlow@dbmlawgroup.com