Centrue Financial in Ottawa, Ill., has agreed to sell three branches in Illinois.

The $944 million-asset Centrue said in a press release Wednesday that it will sell a branch in Fairview Heights to the $503 million-asset Town and Country Financial in Springfield, Ill. Town and Country will also gain $13 million in deposits and $7.9 million in loans.

Centrue will also sell two branches – in Aviston and St. Rose – to First National Bancorp. in Carlyle, Ill. First National, the holding company for the $149 million-asset First National Bank in Carlyle, will gain $46.3 million in deposits and $5.1 million in loans.

The sales are expected to close by mid-2016. Centrue said the buyers will pay a blended deposit premium of about 4% for the branches' deposits; they will also buy fixed assets at net book value for an aggregate of about $5.1 million.

The divestitures were "consistent with our strategic business plan and the overarching objective to deploy capital into areas that yield the greatest opportunity to strengthen franchise value," Kurt Stevenson, Centrue's president and chief executive, said in the release. The sales allow the company "to gain greater efficiencies in our core markets and to focus our sales efforts in those anchor communities."

Centrue was advised by Boenning & Scattergood and Howard & Howard.

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