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Sale of First Federal announced

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Deal signed Monday night awaits regulatory approval

By Ben Sheroan

First Financial Service Corp., the holding company for First Federal Savings Bank of Elizabethtown, will be sold to an Indiana bank company.

The definitive agreement finalizing the deal was signed Monday night. It had been approved earlier in the day by the First Financial board of directors and the board of Community Bank Shares of Indiana.

It is a stock transaction valued at approximately $17.9 million. No money is changing hands in the deal, according to a joint news release issued Tuesday morning by the companies.

Greg Schreacke, the president of First Financial Service Corp., relayed the news to First Federal employees this morning. In an interview, he said all employees with direct customer contact, including tellers and loan officers, will continue with the new company. The eight-member executive team of the local institution will not be retained, he said.

Schreacke said the two businesses are "basically combining" but Community Bank Shares "will be the surviving entity."

The deal is pending regulatory approval from the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which will take 90 days or more, Schreacke said.

Under the new ownership, First Federal's offices in six Kentucky counties will be rebranded under the name Your Community Bank.

Community Bank Shares of Indiana, which is publicly traded on NASDAQ under the notation CBIN, is based in New Albany, Ind. It operates Scott County State Bank and the Your Community Bank locations in southern Indiana.

For more details regarding the transaction, see Wednesday's print edition of The News-Enterprise.