County Bancorp in Manitowoc, Wis., has agreed to buy Fox River Valley Bancorp in Appleton, Wis.

The $845 million-asset County said in a press release Friday that it will pay about $29 million for the $255 million-asset Fox River Valley. The consideration will be evenly divided between cash and stock. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year.

The merger "represents a strategic opportunity for us to achieve our previously-stated objective of expanding our commercial lending and business banking platform," Timothy Schneider, County's president, said in the release. The acquisition "also diversifies the mix of our loan portfolio, creating the opportunity to continue to grow both commercial and agricultural lending in the future."

County said it expects the deal to be 8-10% accretive to the company's earnings per share in the 12 months after completion. It should take less than four years for County to earn back any dilution to tangible book value.

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