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Gideon Bancshares explored sale following death of principal shareholder

Norman Harty, who owned roughly 72.9% of the outstanding shares of Dexter, Mo.-based Gideon Bancshares Co., died in August 2017.

Immediately following the death of Harty, who was the company's president and chairman, the board and management discussed the succession plan and to evaluate Gideon's ability to continue to operate as an independent institution.

In September 2017, the company's management prepared bid solicitation materials for distribution to potential acquirers.

Two institutions eventually submitted bids to Gideon, but it determined to continue negotiations with Southern Missouri Bancorp Inc., whose offer consisted of merger consideration payable 50% in cash and 50% in shares of Southern Missouri's publicly traded common stock.

The deal process continued, culminating in the execution of the merger agreement June 12. The agreement includes a termination fee of $750,000 to be paid by Gideon to Southern Missouri should the deal fall through under certain circumstances.