Jackson, Ohio-based Oak Hill Financial has agreed to buy a Cincinnati- area thrift holding company for $17.6 million in stock.

Oak Hill, with $430 million of assets, would exchange 4.125 shares for each outstanding share of Towne Financial Corp., based in Blue Ash, Ohio. The price is 1.8 times Towne's book value.

The deal, scheduled to close in the third quarter, would expand Oak Hill's presence in the rapidly growing Cincinnati market. Towne is the $123 million-asset parent of Blue Ash Building and Loan Co., which operates four branches in suburban Cincinnati.

Blue Ash would retain its management and board of directors. Oak Hill operates 17 bank branches in southern Ohio.

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