Southern Missouri Bancorp in Poplar Bluff found a way to avoid brand confusion.

The $1.5 billion-asset company agreed on Friday to buy Southern Missouri Bancshares in Marshfield for $15.1 million in cash and stock. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

Greg Steffens
Southern Missouri Bancorp, led by CEO Greg Steffens, has been an active acquirer since the financial crisis.

The seller has $92 million in assets and two branches in Marshfield, which is almost three hours northwest of Poplar Bluff and half an hour outside of Springfield, Mo.

The Springfield area has been important to Southern Missouri Bancorp’s growth in recent years. said Greg Steffens, the company’s president and CEO.

“We’ve also been familiar with the Marshfield market for some time,” Steffens said in a press release. “We are … already serving some significant relationships in the community.”

Southern Missouri Bancorp has bought six banks since July 2009, including Capaha Bank in Tamms, Ill., earlier this year. The company will have 43 branches in Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois once it buys its similarly named target.

The transaction should be nominally accretive to the buyer’s earnings per share starting in 2019.

Lowther Johnson advised the seller. Silver, Freedman, Taff & Tiernan advised the buyer.

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