COLUMBUS, Indiana — Three MainSource banking centers and one drive-through location in Columbus must be sold to a third party for the U.S. Department of Justice to approve the $1 billion merger of MainSource Financial Group and First Financial Bancorp, the companies have announced.

A fifth banking center, located in Greensburg, must also be sold as a Department of Justice requirement.

About 25 MainSource employees will be affected by the decision, of which 20 work in Columbus, said Archie Brown Jr., chairman, president and CEO of Greensburg-based MainSource Bank.

A purchase agreement will have to be in place for the merger to go through, he said. That purchase would have to close within 180 days of completion of the First Financial and MainSource merger.

The affected locations are Columbus MainSource branches at 1901 25th St., 529 Washington St., and 2310 W. Jonathan Moore Pike; a Columbus drive-through at 803 Washington St.; and the Greensburg Plaza banking center at 304 E. 10th St., in Decatur County.

Read more in Saturday’s print edition of The Republic.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at johannesen@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5639.