DYERSBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Officials say two community banks in Tennessee have announced a merger.

First Citizens Bancshares Inc. and Southern Heritage Bancshares Inc. said Thursday they have agreed to a cash and stock merger.

Under the deal, Cleveland-based Southern Heritage will keep its name and remain a separately-chartered bank, operating as a subsidiary of First Citizens.

With the merger, Dyersburg-based First Citizens solidifies its position as the seventh-largest Tennessee-based community bank.

The combined organization will have approximately $1.5 billion in assets, $1.2 billion in deposits and 24 branches across 10 Tennessee counties.

The transaction is valued at $24.50 per share of Southern Heritage common stock, or about $32.2 million. The deal, which is subject to approval by regulators, is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.