GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. and ALMA, Mich., Aug. 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mercantile Bank Corporation ("Mercantile") (Nasdaq:MBWM) and Firstbank Corporation ("Firstbank") (Nasdaq:FBMI) jointly announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which Mercantile and Firstbank will merge to create one of the largest banking institutions headquartered in Michigan. Based on financial results as of June 30, 2013, the combined company would have total assets of $2.8 billion, deposits of $2.3 billion and loans of $2.0 billion. The merger is expected to create the third largest bank headquartered in Michigan by market capitalization and by deposit market share. In addition, the combined company will have a more robust offering of products and services, an enhanced retail delivery system with 53 branches statewide, a more diversified loan portfolio and greater origination capabilities. "I am extremely pleased to announce the combination of these two great Michigan community banks," said Michael Price, Chief Executive Officer of Mercantile. "This is an exciting opportunity for our customers, our shareholders and our employees to create the premier Michigan community banking franchise." Thomas Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of Firstbank, added: "We are very excited to become partners with Mercantile, as our similar cultures and complementary geographies and service strengths make this transaction a natural fit. We see great opportunity in combining to create a bank with enormous potential for future success." In the merger, Firstbank shareholders will receive a fixed ratio of 1.00 share of Mercantile common stock for each share of Firstbank common stock. This implies a transaction value per share of $18.77 or approximately $151.5 million in the aggregate based upon Mercantile's closing price of $18.77 as of August 14, 2013. Upon closing, Mercantile shareholders will own approximately 52% of the stock in the combined company; Firstbank shareholders will own approximately 48%.