KENOSHA, Wis. -- Advantage Bancorp has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Amity Bancshares in a cash transaction worth $24.8 million.

The merger agreement, which has been approved by both companies' boards of directors, provides that each share of Amity common stock will be converted into the right to receive $36.25 in cash.

"The merger will expand our reach into Illinois," said Advantage chairman Paul Gergen, "and is consistent with our long-term strategic plans to build a banking network that will provide benefits to our shareholders, customers, and employees."

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