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First Federal Bank Acquires First National Bank

[HOT SPRINGS, ARK.] First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas, Inc. (“FFBH”), parent company of First Federal Bank (“First Federal”), and First National Security Company (“First National”), the parent company for First National Bank in Hot Springs and Heritage Bank in Jonesboro, announce the signing of a merger agreement.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, FFBH will acquire 100% of the stock of First National and shareholders of First National will receive shares of FFBH common stock and $74 million in cash. Certain principal shareholders of Bear State Financial Holdings, LLC, FFBH’s controlling shareholder (“Bear State”), have separately agreed to invest in the equity of FFBH in order to fund a portion of the cash merger consideration.

FFBH anticipates the transaction to be immediately and substantially accretive to its earnings per share.

The combined enterprise would have approximately $1.4 billion in total assets, 44 branches in communities throughout Arkansas, 2 branches in Southeast Oklahoma, 47 ATM’s and approximately 430 employees.

Three members of First National’s Board of Directors will join FFBH’s Board of Directors, including two icons of Arkansas banking, John H. Hendrix, First National’s Chairman and Daniel C. Horton, First National’s President and CEO.            The leadership of each of First National’s banking subsidiaries, First National Bank in Hot Springs, led by Jason Lenderman, and Heritage Bank in Jonesboro, led by Steve May, will continue.

The merger is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2013. The transaction is subject to certain conditions, including the approval by shareholders of FFBH and First National and customary regulatory approvals. Mr. Hendrix and his related interests and Bear State have each agreed to vote their respective shares in favor of the merger.

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas, Inc. is the parent company for First Federal Bank. First Federal is a community bank serving consumers and businesses with a full range of checking, savings, investment, and loan products and services. The Bank conducts business from 13 full-service branch locations, one drive-thru facility, one stand-alone loan production office, and 18 ATMs. First Federal Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas, Inc., whose stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol FFBH. For information on First Federal’s products and services, visit the website at www.ffbh.com or contact the Account Information Center toll free at 1.866.242.3324 (1-866-AIC- FFBH).

First National Security Company is a multi-bank holding company headquartered in Hot Springs, Arkansas. First National is the parent company of First National Bank and Heritage Bank, N.A..

First National is a community-focused bank offering full-service commercial and retail banking to Central and Southwest Arkansas as well as Southeast Oklahoma. The Bank conducts business from 23 full-service branch locations and 19 ATMs. First National Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of First National Security Company. Additional information about First National products and services can be found on the website at www.fnbweb.biz.

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