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REPUBLIC MORTGAGE TO JOIN OLD KENT

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Old Kent Financial Corp. said it has agreed to take over Salt Lake-based Republic Mortgage Corp. Terms of the deal were not released.

Old Kent is a Grand Rapids-based bank holding company with 219 branches in Michigan and Illinois and assets of $11.8 billion. Republic has 19 branches in Utah, Idaho and Nevada with a residential mortgage portfolio of $130 million.Once the merger is completed this year, Republic will operate as an affiliate of Old Kent Mortgage Co., Old Kent said.

"The merger with Republic will significantly increase our mortgage origination capability and will provide us entry into the rapidly growing Intermountain market," said Old Kent President and chief executive Robert H. Warrington.