ST. LOUIS - Mercantile Bancorp. said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Amerifirst Bancorp. in a $24 million stock swap.

The $12.2 billion-asset Mercantile said it purchased Amerifirst, which has $164 million in assets, to boost its presence in southeastern Missouri. Amerifirst is based in Sikeston, about 145 miles southeast of St. Louis.

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