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Horizon Bancorp Announces Closing Of Heartland Bancshares Merger

Stocks in this article: HBNC HRTB

Horizon Bancorp (NASDAQ: HBNC) today announced it has closed its acquisition of Heartland Bancshares, Inc. (OTCBB: HRTB) and Horizon Bank N.A.’s acquisition of Heartland Community Bank, through mergers effective July 17, 2012. As previously announced, the banks will operate under a single Horizon Bank, N.A. charter, and Heartland’s locations will operate in Central Indiana as “Heartland Community Bank, a Horizon Bank, N.A. Company.” Heartland serves Central Indiana, south of Indianapolis, and has the No. 1 deposit market share in Johnson County according to the most recently published information by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

“We are thrilled to have completed this merger, and we were all pleased with the cooperation and teamwork demonstrated throughout the transaction process. We are confident the integration process will be as smooth and rapid,” said Craig M. Dwight, Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer. “Central Indiana represents an attractive, growth-oriented market for us,” said Dwight. “This merger provides a strong foothold in Central Indiana and further establishes Horizon’s position as an Indiana-focused financial institution. We also believe the two banks’ philosophies of exceptional customer service and commitment to community banking will result in a strong combined corporate culture that will continue to serve us well for years to come.”

Heartland’s co-founders, Steve Bechman and Jeffrey Goben will continue to provide their expertise as key managers of the Central Indiana banking operation. Steven W. Reed, a Heartland board member and partner with the Indianapolis-based public accounting firm BGBC Partners, LLP, has joined Horizon Bank’s board of directors. Consistent with Horizon’s practice of establishing local advisory boards, Bechman will appoint a local advisory board for Heartland’s market.

Dwight explained that the Heartland merger gives Horizon, based in Northwest Indiana, a significant physical presence in Central Indiana, and the opportunity to continue to expand throughout the northern half of Indiana. Heartland’s branch locations are located south of Indianapolis along the important I-65 corridor. To complement the new market presence, Horizon opened a new deposit and loan production office in Indianapolis in July 2012, its first presence in the Indiana capital and business hub.

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