Missouri's Citizens Bancshares has a deal to buy MBLA Financial Corp. of Macon, Mo., for $31 million in cash. The price is 1.1 times MBLA's book value and 16.7 times its earnings.

Citizens, based in Chillicothe, is the parent of three community banks with 20 branches in the Show-Me State. The company has about $800 million of assets.

MBLA Financial is the parent of Macon Building and Loan Association, a $208 million-asset thrift with two offices. It is "a great franchise that will expand our presence in north-central Missouri," said Edward D. Douglas, chairman and chief executive officer of Citizens.

Citizens said it intends to merge the building and loan into its Citizens Bank and Trust Co. subsidiary.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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