First Financial Bank to acquire equipment financing firm | Northwest Indiana Business Headlines

First Financial Bank to acquire equipment financing firm

A First Financial Bank branch in downtown Highland is shown.

Joseph S. Pete

First Financial Bank plans to acquire Cincinnati-based Summit Funding Group, Inc., which is the fourth largest platform for financing equipment nationwide, for $121 million in cash and stock.

Cincinnati-based First Financial has several Northwest Indiana branches, including in Gary, Hammond, Highland, Schererville and Crown Point. 

“We are very excited to join forces with one of the most widely respected companies in the equipment finance sector,” First Financial President and CEO Archie Brown said. “In combining the scale and product breadth of First Financial with Summit’s leading nationwide position in the equipment finance sector, we are ideally situated to capitalize on a significant growth opportunity. As an existing banking partner of Summit, our intimate understanding of the business and management team gives us a high degree of confidence that our combined value proposition will resonate in the market.”

Once the deal is closed, Summit will become a subsidiary of First Financial Bank that continues to operate under to Summit Funding Group name to take advantage of its established brand in the equipment finance space. All employees and leaders, including founder and CEO Rick Ross, will continue in their current roles.