First Financial acquires Cincinnati-based Summit Funding Group

CINCINNATI — First Financial Bancorp. announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Cincinnati-based Summit Funding Group, Inc.. the fourth largest independent equipment financing platform in the United States.

“We are very excited to join forces with one of the most widely respected companies in the equipment finance sector,” said First Financial President and Chief Executive Officer Archie Brown. “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.”

Upon completion of the transaction, Summit will become a subsidiary of First Financial Bank, with current Summit leadership and all associates continuing in their positions, led by Founder and CEO Rick Ross.

As a subsidiary, Summit will continue to operate under the name Summit Funding Group, taking advantage of the company’s exceptional brand recognition within the equipment finance industry, particularly with small-to-medium sized businesses. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2021.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.