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PEOPLES BANK OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA, FIRST COMMONWEALTH SIGN DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO MERGE

 INDIANA, Pa., Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert F. Koslow, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Peoples Bank of Western Pennsylvania, headquartered in New Castle, Pa., and E. James Trimarchi, chairman, president and chief executive officer of First Commonwealth Financial Corporation (NYSE: FCF), headquartered in Indiana, jointly announced today that the boards of directors of their organizations have entered into a definitive agreement to merge the $156 million Peoples Bank into First Commonwealth Financial Corporation.
 The agreement provides for the issuance of two shares of First Commonwealth Financial Corporation common stock for each Peoples Bank of Western Pennsylvania share. At the current market price for First Commonwealth Financial Corporation common stock, the merger has an approximate value in excess of $23 million, or approximately $62 for each share of Peoples Bank stock based upon the recent market price of First Commonwealth stock.
 The transaction has been structured to qualify for pooling of interests accounting treatment and there will be no significant dilution in the earnings per share for the First Commonwealth Financial Corporation stock based on the pro forma combined results for the first six months of 1993.
 In making this announcement, Koslow said, "The board of directors of Peoples Bank has unanimously approved the merger. We look forward to joining a strong, progressive banking organization and are confident that the partnership we are forming with First Commonwealth will best serve the long-term needs of our customers, employees and shareholders."
 Trimarchi noted, "First Commonwealth's board of directors also agreed that we should proceed at this time. Peoples Bank of Western Pennsylvania is a logical extension of our community-based banking philosophy in western Pennsylvania. Our partnership will enhance the results of both organizations. Final approvals must be obtained from Peoples Bank's shareholders and the appropriate regulatory authorities before the completion of the merger."
 Peoples Bank, which traces its origins to 1909, maintains seven banking offices in Lawrence and Beaver counties. Following the merger, the board of directors and management of the Peoples Bank will continue to operate the bank under its existing name. No personnel changes are contemplated.
 First Commonwealth began operations as a bank holding company in 1983 and currently operates 62 banking offices through its six partner banks: National Bank of the Commonwealth, Indiana; Deposit Bank, DuBois; Cenwest National Bank, Johnstown; First National Bank of Leechburg; Peoples Bank and Trust, Jennerstown; and Central Bank, Hollidaysburg. The corporation operates a data processing subsidiary, Commonwealth Systems Corporation, and a trust subsidiary, First Commonwealth Trust Company, both headquartered in Indiana. It also has a joint venture interest in Commonwealth Trust Credit Life Insurance Company, which provides credit life and credit accident and health insurance to its bank's customers. Total assets of the holding company are over $1.7 billion.
 FIRST COMMONWEALTH/PEOPLES BANK OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA
 Key Statistics
 At June 30, 1993 ($000) FCFC Peoples
 Assets $1,706,487 $156,296
 Deposits 1,423,331 140,109
 Net loans 896,895 71,558
 Shareholders' equity 162,860 15,430
 For the six months ending June 30, 1993
 Net income ($000) 11,283 728
 Earnings per share $1.32 $1.94
 Return on average assets 1.37 pct. 0.93 pct.
 Return on average equity 14.13 pct. 9.74 pct.
 -0- 9/11/93
 /CONTACT: Robert F. Koslow, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Peoples Bank, 412-658-3501, or George Dash of First Commonwealth, 412-349-7220/
 (FCF)


CO: Peoples Bank of Western Pennsylvania; First Commonwealth Financial
 Corporation ST: Pennsylvania IN: FIN SU: TNM


CD-KC -- PGSA001 -- 1017 09/11/93 12:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 11, 1993
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