Arkansas-based Arvest Bank has agreed to acquire local firm Bear State Financial, the parent of Bear State Bank, in an all cash deal worth around $391m.

All employees of Bear State Financial will join Arvest as part of the merger deal.

The deal already secured the nod from the boards of directors of both companies. It is expected to be concluded in the fourth quarter of 2017 or first quarter of 2018, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Bear State Bank will eventually be rebranded as Arvest Bank, with the systems conversion to take place in 2018.

Arvest president and CEO Kevin Sabin said: “This is a strategic move for us and one made after much careful consideration. In addition to giving us the opportunity to expand into some new communities, this deal also allows us to strengthen our presence in some existing markets. Because Bear State is such a solid company with dedicated employees – and because both banks are so committed to their communities – we believe this will be a great fit.”

Arvest has over 250 branches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas. The company reported total assets of $17.30bn and total deposits of $14.98bn at the end of June 2017.

Bear State Financial reported total assets of $2.24bn and total deposits of $1.7bn as at 30 June 2017. Bear State Bank has 42 branches, and three personalised technology centres across Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.