Simmons First National Corp., Pine Bluff, Ark., said this week that it would buy Lincoln (Ark.) Bancshares for about $12 million in stock.

Simmons First, with $1.3 billion of assets, said Lincoln shareholders would get 301,833 shares of its stock.

Simmons First also said Tuesday that it would incur about $675,000 in merger-related and reserve policy charges.

The deal is expected to close in early 1999.

Lincoln, which owns $73 million-asset Bank of Lincoln, has offices in Lincoln and Prairie Grove.

The bank was established in 1903. Simmons First owns seven banks in the state, with 40 offices in 21 communities.

"The Bank of Lincoln is a well-managed institution and one of the most profitable in northwest Arkansas," said J. Thomas May, chairman and chief executive of Simmons First.

"Combining the resources will be good for customers and shareholders of both institutions."

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