Poplar Bluff, Nov. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southern Missouri Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMBC, "Southern"), theparent corporation of Southern Bank, and Citizens State Banksharesof Bald Knob, Inc. ("Citizens"), the parent corporation of CitizensState Bank, today announced the signing of a definitive stockpurchase agreement whereby Southern will acquire Citizens in anall-cash transaction valued at approximately $5.9 million, subjectto certain adjustments for transaction expenses and Citizen'sequity at closing. Immediately upon closing, Citizens State Bankwill be merged with and into Southern Bank. Citizens operates three branches in White County in northcentral Arkansas. After the acquisition, the combined company'stotal assets will approximate $976 million, with total loans of$728 million and total deposits of $763 million. The combinedcompany will operate 25 branches in southern Missouri and northeastand north central Arkansas. "This merger is a good opportunity for Southern Bank to expandits presence in White County," stated Greg Steffens, President andCEO of Southern. "We are very impressed with the financialinstitution that Citizens State Bank has built in the communitiesof Bradford and Bald Knob, and the deep relationships they havedeveloped with their depositors. We look forward to continuing thattradition and to serving these communities." "In our search for folks to partner with, we found that SouthernBank is a strong community bank that is community focused, customerservice driven, offers the latest in technology and takes pride inproviding personalized service to the individual markets theyserve," said Larry Kircher, Chairman & CEO of Citizens StateBankshares. "This merger will allow us to expand our product andservice lines, offer convenient locations to our customersthroughout north central Arkansas and increase our lending limits,providing excellent future benefits for the businesses and familiesin our area,"
Steffens added: "We continue to pursue this type of expansionopportunity with the ultimate goal of building long-termshareholder value, and we expect the transaction to be immediatelyaccretive to earnings, after exclusion of transaction-relatedexpenses, and to be accretive to tangible book value within threeyears."Southern and Citizens anticipate completion of the transactionin the first half of calendar year 2014, subject to satisfaction ofcustomary closing conditions, including regulatory approval. DD&F Consulting Group acted as financial advisor and McAfee& Taft served as legal advisor to Citizens, while Silver,Freedman & Taff, LLP, served as legal advisor to Southern. Forward-Looking Information: Except for the historical information contained herein, thematters discussed in this press release may be deemed to be"forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the PrivateSecurities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to knownand unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that couldcause the actual results to differ materially from theforward-looking statements, including: the requisite regulatory andshareholder approvals for Southern's pending acquisition ofCitizens might not be obtained or other conditions to completion ofthe transaction might not be satisfied or waived; expected costsavings, synergies and other benefits from the Southern's mergerand acquisition activities, including, but not limited to thepending acquisition of Citizens, might not be realized within theanticipated time frames or at all, and costs or difficultiesrelating to integration matters, including but not limited tocustomer and employee retention, might be greater than expected;the strength of the United States economy in general and thestrength of the local economies in which we conduct operations;fluctuations in interest rates and in real estate values; monetaryand fiscal policies of the Board of Governors of the FederalReserve System and the U.S. Government and other governmentalinitiatives affecting the financial services industry; the risks oflending and investing activities, including changes in the leveland direction of loan delinquencies and write-offs and changes inestimates of the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses; ourability to access cost-effective funding; the timely development ofand acceptance of our new products and services and the perceivedoverall value of these products and services by users, includingthe features, pricing and quality compared to competitors' productsand services; fluctuations in real estate values and bothresidential and commercial real estate market conditions; demandfor loans and deposits in our market area; legislative orregulatory changes that adversely affect our business; results ofexaminations of us by our regulators, including the possibilitythat our regulators may, among other things, require us to increaseour reserve for loan losses or to write-down assets; the impact oftechnological changes; and our success at managing the risksinvolved in the foregoing. Any forward-looking statements are basedupon management's beliefs and assumptions at the time they aremade. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise anyforward-looking statements or to update the reasons why actualresults could differ from those contained in such statements,whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, theforward-looking statements discussed might not occur, and youshould not put undue reliance on any forward-lookingstatements.