Meta Financial Group, the holding company for the federally chartered savings bank MetaBank, has signed an agreement to acquire Crestmark Bancorp in an all-stock transaction valued nearly $320.6m.

Crestmark Bancorp is the holding company for the Michigan state-chartered Crestmark Bank, a commercial lender providing diverse financial solutions to businesses.

Upon the closing of the transaction, subject to regulatory and shareholders’ approval, Crestmark will operate as a division of MetaBank. It will also continue its operations from its offices in Troy, Michigan.

Crestmark Bank offers asset-based loans, equipment finance leases and government guaranteed loans to small and mid-sized businesses across the US.

It also caters to a multiple industries including manufacturing, transportation and health care.

Meta chairman and CEO J. Tyler Haahr said: “With this acquisition, we continue to deliver on our goal of growth and innovation through diversification.

“This transformational transaction will allow us to significantly add on-balance sheet loans at attractive yields with the addition of Crestmark’s national lending platform.

“It also creates complementary cross-sell opportunities for our insurance premium finance business.”

Crestmark chairman and CEO W. David Tull said: “The merger of Meta and Crestmark results in the complementary combination of a leading player in the payments industry and low-cost deposit generator with a premier, high-margin asset generator.

“The synergies will enable the combined entity to grow and prosper. Additionally, Crestmark will be able to leverage the power of Meta’s low-cost deposit franchise and larger balance sheet to capitalise on even more growth opportunities.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2018.