ST. LOUIS — Four years after its arrival in St. Louis, Houston’s Guardian Savings Bank said Wednesday that it is departing the market and will sell its five branches to Allegiant Bancorp Inc.

James S. D’Agostino, Guardian’s chairman and chief executive officer, said selling the St. Louis branches is consistent with the thrift’s new strategy of targeting retirees. The $1.3 billion-asset company also has offices in Georgia, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Texas, and plans to open branches next month in two Florida cities, Sun City and Fort Meyers.

For Allegiant, the deal would continue its expansion in its hometown. In May it announced it had agreed to buy $737 million-asset Southside Bancshares Corp. of St. Louis for $120 million. Upon completion of the Guardian and Southside deals, both of which are expected to close in the fourth quarter, Allegiant would have assets of $2.1 billion of assets and 41 St. Louis-area branches.

Jeffrey S. Schatz, Allegiant’s chief of operations, said the parent of Allegiant Bank is purchasing just the deposits and no loans from Guardian and that Allegiant expects to offer jobs to all the five branches’ employees. The price of the branch deal was not disclosed.

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