January 26, 2016 / 12:48 AM / 2 years ago

Huntington Bancshares in plans to buy FirstMerit: WSJ

(Reuters) - Huntington Bancshares Inc (HBAN.O) is in advanced discussions to buy Ohio-based FirstMerit Corp FMER.O, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing sources.

The deal, which is expected to be at a premium to FirstMerit's market capitalization of about $2.67 billion, could be announced late Monday, the Journal added.

However, the talks could still fall apart at the last minute, the newspaper said.

The deal, if successful, would combine two of Ohio's midsize banks.

Huntington in October was in talks to acquire First Niagara Financial Group Inc FNFG.O, which was later bought by KeyCorp (KEY.N), the Journal said.

Huntington and FirstMerit could not be immediately reached for comment outside regular business hours.

Reporting by Rishika Sadam in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Chang

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