State Bankshares, the parent company of Bell State Bank & Trust, announced this week that it will be acquiring Minneapolis-based The Business Bank and its Prime Mortgage division, solidifying Bell State Bank's reach in the Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota markets.

Bell State Bank & Trust says the deal will "bring together the largest independently owned bank and mortgage company in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota."

The combination of the firms creates a platform that combined originated close to $3 billion mortgages in 2012.

"We are excited about this new partnership," said The Business Bank CEO Brad Krohn.

"The cultures and philosophies of Bell State Bank & Trust and The Business Bank and Prime Mortgage are remarkably similar, and we look forward to a smooth transition for our teams," Krohn added. "We plan to continue to deliver the highest standard of customer service and value, now combined with the size and strength of Bell State Bank & Trust."