ST. LOUIS - Magna Group Inc. said it has an agreement to acquire River Bend Bancshares, based in East Alton, Ill., for a mixture of cash and stock worth about $25.6 million.

River Bend Bancshares is the holding company for Illinois State Bank and Trust, which has $158 million in assets and branches in Godfrey and Rosewood Heights, Ill.

The agreement provides for Magna to exchange $12.3 million in cash and 550,240 shares for the common and preferred stock of River Bend.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter. Jack Helmkamp, River Bend's president, would become a director of Magna Group Inc.

"This acquisition complements our presence in Madison County, and we look forward to the growth opportunities in the East Alton area," said G. Thomas Andes, Magna's chairman and chief executive.

The deal is subject to due diligence, regulatory approval, and the vote of the River Bend stockholders.

Magna Group, based in St. Louis, has $4.7 billion of assets and 100 community bank locations in Illinois and Missouri.

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