Town and Country Financial in Springfield, Ill., has agreed to buy the parent of Premier Bank of Jacksonville in Illinois.

The $515 million-asset Town and Country said in a press release Thursday that it will pay an undisclosed amount of cash for West Plains Investors, which operates the $196 million-asset Premier Bank. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.

The merger will allow Town and Country to expand its operations in central Illinois and the St. Louis area, Micah Bartlett, the company's president and chief executive, said in the release.

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