Investar Holding in Baton Rouge, La., has agreed to buy Citizens Bancshares in Ville Platte, La.

The $1.2 billion-asset Investar said in a press release Wednesday that it will pay $45.8 million in cash for the $246 million-asset Citizens. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Citizens has three branches, $127 million in loans and $209 million in deposits.

Investar said it expects to cut Citizens’ annual noninterest expenses by 30%. The transaction is expected to be more than 20% accretive to Investar’s 2018 earnings per share.

John D'Angelo is president and CEO of Investar Holding
Investar Holding, led by CEO John D'Angelo, has been looking to expand into new markets in Louisiana.

“The acquisition fits well with our strategy of expanding Investar’s footprint in the Louisiana market,” John D’Angelo, Investar’s president and CEO, said in the release. “We see tremendous value in the acquisition of this 40-year-old franchise that includes a loyal customer base and which brings an attractive cost of funds.”

Sandler O’Neill and Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford advised Investar. McGlinchey Stafford advised Citizens.

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