Nicolet Bankshares in Green Bay, Wis., has agreed to buy Baylake Corp. in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.

The $1.2 billion-asset Nicolet would pay about $141 million in stock for the $980 million-asset Baylake, based on Nicolet's closing stock price Tuesday of $33.25 per share. Baylake shareholders would receive a fixed ratio of 0.4517 shares of Nicolet common stock for each Baylake share.

Nicolet also plans to pay a special dividend of 40 cents per share to Baylake shareholders after the acquisition closes.

Nicolet said the acquisition would be accretive to its earnings next year.

The companies, which described the transaction as a merger, expect the deal to close in the first half of next year. The combined company would use the Nicolet National Bank name, and Nicolet plans to transfer its shares to Nasdaq.

Bob Atwell, Nicolet's chairman and chief executive, and Rob Cera, Baylake's CEO, would serve as co-chairmen and co-CEOs of the combined company. Also, the combined company's board would have eight directors each from Nicolet and Baylake.

Baylake in May agreed to buy New Bancshares in Kewaunee, Wis. The companies did not provide an update on the New Bancshares deal in Tuesday's deal announcement.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods was financial adviser to Nicolet, and Bryan Cave was legal counsel. Sandler O'Neill advised Baylake, and Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren was legal counsel.

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