Peoples Holding Co. said Monday that it has agreed to acquire Reed-Johnson Insurance Agency, taking advantage of a new state law that lifted a ban on banks' selling insurance.

Reed-Johnson is a Tupelo-based agency that sells personal and commercial lines of insurance in the northern Mississippi. Peoples expects to close the deal within two months.

Peoples, the parent of $1.1 billion-asset Peoples Bank and Trust Co., did not disclose specific terms of the deal. However, the bank said it plans no changes to the agency's staff. Ray Reed, who founded the agency in 1963, will continue to run the operation, the bank said.

Paving the way for the deal was a financial modernization bill signed by Gov. Kirk Fordice in March, Peoples president John W. Smith said in a press release.

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