Century Next Financial in Ruston, La., has agreed to buy Ashley Bancstock in Crossett, Ark.

The $290 million-asset Century Next said in a press release Wednesday that it will pay $12.8 million in stock for the $160 million-asset parent of First National Bank of Crossett. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

First National, founded in 1913, has four branches in southern Arkansas.

“We are very pleased to announce this strategic combination … which greatly expands our market area and enhances our branch network,” Bill Hogan, Century Next’s president and CEO, said in the release.

“We look forward to the opportunities presented by the growth in our banking organization and by providing our expanded products and services to the south Arkansas market area," Hogan added.

Century Next was advised by Sandler O’Neill and Silver, Freedman, Taff & Tiernan. Ashley Bancstock was advised by Southard Financial and Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard.

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