St. Johns (Mo.) Bancshares has fended off an aggressive minority shareholder with a plan to revamp its ownership structure.

The St. Louis-area banking company is creating a limited liability holding company to ensure that St. Johns Bancshares stays in the hands of its largest shareholders, members of two local families. The proposed company, Unity Bancshares LLC, would be owned exclusively by the two families and control 61% of St. Johns Bancshares.

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