Citizens Community Bancorp has entered into an agreement to acquire Wells Financial, the parent company of Wells Federal Bank, for $39.8m.

The merger is expected to enable Citizens to expand its presence in Southern Minnesota. It will also result in offering stable, low cost funding to support loan growth, and creates operating efficiencies in the combined franchise.

The transaction is subject to customary conditions, including the approvals of bank regulatory agencies and the shareholders of Wells.

Citizens president and CEO Stephen Bianchi said: “The pooling of our personnel, resources and knowledge will enhance our capabilities, operational efficiencies, and community outreach and will provide us with a deeper product offering and increased lending capacity to better serve our clients and our communities and should also enhance shareholder value. 

“We expect the merger to close early in the third calendar quarter of 2017, and to be accretive to earnings in fiscal year 2018.”

While FIG Partners acted as financial advisor to Citizens in the transaction, McAuliffe Financial was the financial advisor to Wells.

Founded in 1934, Wells Federal Bank is a community oriented, full-service retail bank with one subsidiary, Wells Insurance Agency. Headquartered in Wells, Minnesota, the bank has nine full service offices.

Based in Altoona, Wisconsin, Citizens Community Federal, a subsidiary of Citizens Community Bancorp, is a full-service national bank that serves over 50,000 customers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan through 16 branch locations.

Wells president and chief executive officer James D. Moll said: “Given the challenges and opportunities of community banking today, the combined bank will be better positioned to meet the needs of our communities than as two independent organizations.”