Amcore Financial Inc. is stepping up its invasion of Wisconsin.

The $2.8 billion-asset bank on Oct. 30 signed an agreement to acquire Monroe-based First National Bancorp, a $200 million-asset institution with offices in four southern Wisconsin markets, including Madison, the state capital.

The swap-stock deal, valued at between $33.5 million to $42.9 million depending on the parties' stock prices at closing, is Amcore's second Badger State acquisition announcement in less than a month. It fits into Amcore's strategy of targeting small to midsize markets in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

In a release, Amcore chief executive Robert J. Meuleman said, "Wisconsin offers many opportunities. The south central region ... is one of the most dynamic areas of the state."

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