MILWAUKEE - Firstar Corp. said it has agreed to buy Harvest Financial Corp. for $32.7 million in stock.

Harvest Financial is the holding company for Harvest Savings Banks, a $346 million-asset thrift based in Dubuque, Iowa.

The acquisition, which is scheduled to be completed this winter pending regulatory approval, will bring Firstar into Dubuque for the first time.

Firstar will pay $27 in stock for each Harvest Financial common share if, at closing, Firstar's common stock is trading at $34 or less. If the stock is trading higher than $34, the price will rise, reaching a maximum of $28 for each share of Harvest if Firstar is trading at or above $38.

Firstar said Harvest has also granted it an option to purchase Harvest treasury shares equal to 19.9% of Harvest's currently outstanding shares.

The transaction will be accounted for as a purchase transaction, Firstar said.

Before the deal closes, Firstar intends to repurchase the necessary shares, it said. Based on Firstar's current stock price, this would involve the repurchase and reissuance of about 926,000 shares.

Harvest Savings Bank has five offices in Dubuque, two in Clinton, and one in De Witt, Iowa.

Firstar has 45 offices throughout Iowa, including seven in the Quad Cities area. It has $18 billion in assets.

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