Citizens Community Bancorp in Eau Claire, Wis., has agreed to buy Wells Financial in Wells, Minn.

The $686 million-asset Citizens said in a press release Friday that it will pay $39.8 million in cash and stock for the $269 million-asset Wells. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Stephen Bianchi is president and CEO of Citizens Community Bancorp.
Citizens Community Bancorp in Wisconsin, led by CEO Stephen Bianchi, will improve its balance sheet and enter new markets by buying Wells Financial in Minnesota.

The acquisition is expected to generate earnings accretion of more than 50% in the first full year after closing. It should take about three years to earn back any dilution to Citizens’ tangible book value.

“The transaction is a transformative event for us, as it better balances the mix of … our deposit base and loan portfolio, improves our margins and earnings outlook and expands our franchise into new, culturally compatible markets,” Stephen Bianchi, Citizens’ president and CEO, said in the release.

FIG Partners and Briggs & Morgan advised Citizens. McAuliffe Financial and Jones Walker advised Wells.

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