Baton Rouge-based Business First Bank's parent company has completed its acquisition of Minden Bancorp Inc. in northwest Louisiana.

The deal gives Business First Bancshares Inc. control of the former MBL Bank’s two branches in Minden. The deal, which was first announced in October, became effective Monday.

Business First Bancshares paid Minden Bancorp shareholders $31.50 per share in cash, totaling about $76.1 million. Minden Bancorp Inc. had total assets of $322.9 million.

Business First now has about $1.6 billion in assets and 18 branches across the state. The bank also has loan production offices in New Orleans and Dallas.

“This merger is another important momentum builder for us on our journey to be the region’s most influential business-focused community bank,” said Jude Melville, president and chief executive officer of Business First.

Jack Byrd, Minden Bancorp and MBL Bank's chairman, president and CEO, has joined Business First and Business First Bank's board of directors and is now chairman of Business First Bank's northwest region.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter, @TCB_TheAdvocate.