Southern Missouri Bancorp (SMBC) in Poplar Bluff has agreed to buy Citizens State Bankshares of Bald Knob in Arkansas.

The $823.7 million-asset Southern Missouri will pay $5.9 million in cash for the $71.7 million-asset Citizens State, they announced Thursday.

Citizens State has three branches in White County, Arkansas, which would give the combined company 25 branches in southern Missouri and central Arkansas.

"This merger is a good opportunity for Southern Bank to expand its presence in White County," Greg Steffens, Southern Missouri's chief executive, said in the news release. "We are very impressed with the financial institution that Citizens State Bank has built in the communities of Bradford and Bald Knob, and the deep relationships they have developed with their depositors."

It is Southern Missouri's second deal this year. It agreed in June to buy the $80 million-asset Ozarks Legacy Community Financial in Thayer, Mo., for $6.5 million.

DD&F Consulting Group advised Citizens State on the transaction, and Silver, Freedman & Taff gave Southern Missouri legal advice. The companies expect the merger to close in the first half of 2014, pending regulatory approval.

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