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(Poplar Bluff) – Southern Bank, headquartered in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and Citizens State Bank, headquartered in Bald Knob, Arkansas, have announced the signing of a definitive stock purchase agreement whereby Citizens State Bank will be merged with and into Southern Bank.

Citizens State Bank operates three branches in White County in north central Arkansas. After the acquisition, the combined bank’s total assets will approximate $966 million, with total loans of $721 million and total deposits of $771 million. The combined bank will operate 25 branches in southern Missouri and northeast and north central Arkansas.

Southern Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Missouri Bancorp, Inc., which trades under the ticker “SMBC” on the NASDAQ Global Market. Citizens State Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Citizens State Bankshares of Bald Knob, Inc.

“This merger is a good opportunity for Southern Bank to expand its presence in White County,” stated Greg Steffens, President and CEO of Southern Bank. “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 Bank. “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,”

Southern Bank and Citizens State Bank anticipate completion of the transaction in the first half of calendar year 2014, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.

DD&F Consulting Group acted as financial advisor and McAfee & Taft served as legal advisor to Citizens State Bank, while Silver, Freedman & Taff, LLP, served as legal advisor to Southern Bank.

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