Poplar Bluff, Nov. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southern Missouri Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMBC, "Southern"), the parent corporation of Southern Bank, and Citizens State Bankshares of Bald Knob, Inc. ("Citizens"), the parent corporation of Citizens State Bank, today announced the signing of a definitive stock purchase agreement whereby Southern will acquire Citizens in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $5.9 million, subject to certain adjustments for transaction expenses and Citizen's equity at closing. Immediately upon closing, Citizens State Bank will be merged with and into Southern Bank. Citizens operates three branches in White County in north central Arkansas. After the acquisition, the combined company's total assets will approximate $976 million, with total loans of $728 million and total deposits of $763 million. The combined company will operate 25 branches in southern Missouri and northeast and north central Arkansas. "This merger is a good opportunity for Southern Bank to expand its presence in White County," stated Greg Steffens, President and CEO of Southern. "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. We look forward to continuing that tradition and to serving these communities." "In our search for folks to partner with, we found that Southern Bank is a strong community bank that is community focused, customer service driven, offers the latest in technology and takes pride in providing personalized service to the individual markets they serve," said Larry Kircher, Chairman & CEO of Citizens State Bankshares. "This merger will allow us to expand our product and service lines, offer convenient locations to our customers throughout north central Arkansas and increase our lending limits, providing excellent future benefits for the businesses and families in our area,"