Wells Financial in Wells, Minn., has agreed to buy St. James Federal Savings and Loan Association in St. James, Minn.

The $251 million-asset Wells, not to be confused with the much-larger Wells Fargo, will acquire the $27 million-asset St. James through a stock conversion.

St. James will convert from a mutual savings association to a stock savings association, and Wells Financial will offer common stock to the mutual's shareholders, in moves that should take place in the second quarter. Financial terms were not disclosed.

St. James is "extremely pleased" about the merger, Timothy Peterson, the mutual's president and chief executive, said in a press release Monday.

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