Southern Missouri will enter St. Louis with $29.9 million deal

Southern Missouri Bancorp in Poplar Bluff has agreed to buy another Missouri company, Fortune Financial, for $29.9 million in cash and stock.

The $2.7 billion-asset Southern Missouri said the deal would give it a toehold in metropolitan St. Louis. The combined company would have about $3 billion of assets, $2.4 billion of loans, $2.5 billion of deposits as well as 51 branches in Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.

The $254 million-asset Fortune Financial in Arnold, Missouri, has two branches in the suburbs of St. Louis.

Buying it would give Southern Missouri “a point of entry to a large and growing banking market where we believe our community banking model will perform well,” President and CEO Greg Steffens said in a news release that announced the deal Wednesday. “Fortune customers will benefit from the scale and technology we will help their banking officers bring to their relationships.”

The transaction is expected to be accretive to Southern Missouri’s earnings per share by about 8.8% in its fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, and by 9.1% in its fiscal year ended June 30, 2023.

Southern Missouri estimated tangible book value per common share would be diluted by about 3.8% at closing. It projected it would earn back the dilution within three years.

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