Area Bancshares said late Wednesday that it has a deal to buy four banks in western Kentucky for a combined $77.8 million in cash.

Area, a multibank holding company with $2.3 billion of assets, plans to acquire $266 million-asset Peoples Bank, in Murray; $49 million-asset Bank of Lyon County, in Eddyville; $39 million-asset Bank of Livingston County, in Tiline; and $28 million-asset Dees Bank, in Hazel. It hopes to close the deals in January.

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