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Southern Missouri Bancorp And Citizens State Bankshares Of Bald Knob To Merge


Nov 7 - Southern Missouri Bancorp Inc. in Poplar Bluff, (Nasdaq: SMBC), the parent corporation of Southern Bank, and Citizens State Bankshares of Bald Knob (Ark.) Inc., the parent corporation of Citizens State Bank, have announced the signing of a definitive stock purchase agreement whereby Southern will acquire Citizens in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $5.9 million, subject to certain adjustments for transaction expenses and Citizen's equity at closing. Immediately on closing, Citizens State Bank will be merged with and into Southern Bank.

Citizens operates three branches in White County in north central Arkansas. After the acquisition, the combined company's total assets will approximate $976 million, with total loans of $728 million and total deposits of $763 million. The combined company will operate 25 branches in southern Missouri and northeast and north central Arkansas.

"This merger is a good opportunity for Southern Bank to expand its presence in White County," stated Greg Steffens, president and CEO of Southern. "We are very impressed with the financial institution that Citizens State Bank has built in the communities of Bradford and Bald Knob, and the deep relationships they have developed with their depositors. We look forward to continuing that tradition and to serving these communities."

"In our search for folks to partner with, we found that Southern Bank is a strong community bank that is community focused, customer service driven, offers the latest in technology and takes pride in providing personalized service to the individual markets they serve," said Larry Kircher, chairman and CEO of Citizens State Bankshares."This merger will allow us to expand our product and service lines, offer convenient locations to our customers throughout north central Arkansas and increase our lending limits, providing excellent future benefits for the businesses and families in our area,"

Steffens added: "We continue to pursue this type of expansion opportunity with the ultimate goal of building long-term shareholder value, and we expect the transaction to be immediately accretive to earnings, after exclusion of transaction-related expenses, and to be accretive to tangible book value within three years."

Southern and Citizens anticipate completion of the transaction in the first half of calendar year 2014, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

DD&F Consulting Group acted as financial advisor and McAfee & Taft served as legal advisor to Citizens, while Silver, Freedman & Taff, LLP, served as legal advisor to Southern.