ST. LOUIS -- Mercantile Bancorp. said it has arranged a $1 billion bank-note facility for five of its banking subsidiaries.

Under the bank-note program, the five participants may issue notes in denominations of $250,000 or more, with maturities ranging from 30 days to 15 years.

Proceeds from the sale of the notes will be used by the banks in the ordinary course of business, Mercantile said. The notes will be offered and sold exclusively to institutional investors through Salomon Brothers Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co.

The five banks participating in the program are: Mercantile Bank of St. Louis; Mercantile Bank of Kansas City, Mo.; Mercantile Bank of Kansas, in Overland Park; Mercantile Bank of Illinois; in Alton; and Mercantile Bank of Springfield, Mo.

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