United Community Financial, a $2.1bn financial services firm headquartered in Youngstown, Ohio, has agreed to acquire Ohio Legacy, parent of Premier Bank & Trust, to expand presence in Akron and Canton Ohio.

The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both companies, is valued at approximately $40.3m in the aggregate.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to approval by the shareholders of Ohio Legacy and receipt of all required regulatory approvals.

North Canton, Ohio headquartered Premier Bank & Trust has approximately $320m in total assets and operates four full-service banking centers located in North Canton, Fairlawn and St. Clairsville, Ohio as well as a full-service wealth management and trust division.

United Community Financial is the parent company of The Home Savings and Loan Company. As a result of the merger, it is expected that United Community and Home Savings will add Ohio Legacy’s current chairman Louis Altman to their Boards of Directors.

In addition, Ohio Legacy’s president & CEO Rick Hull, and Denise Penz, Ohio Legacy’s executive vice president & COO, will join Home Savings as regional president and head of wealth management, respectively.

United Community president & CEO Gary Small said: “We are very pleased to be partnering with Premier Bank & Trust and expanding our presence in Canton, Akron and St. Clairsville. Premier’s strengths fit perfectly with Home Savings’ focus on commercial banking and they bring wealth management and trust capabilities we can leverage across the entire Home Savings footprint.

“I am looking forward to working with Rick, Denise and Lou, all of whom are great leaders and seasoned professionals, in building an outstanding banking franchise. The Premier team enjoys a well-deserved reputation in the marketplace, and we look forward to a great future together.”