LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) _ Lafayette-based Home Bancorp Inc. will acquire Metairie-based Louisiana Bancorp in a cash deal valued at $74.5 million.

The New Orleans Advocate ( ) reports the transaction has already been approved by both companies’ boards, but announced the merger after the markets closed Thursday. The deal is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter.

Louisiana Bancorp President and CEO Lawrence J. LeBon III said the merger will help improve customers’ experience and provide a great return for investors.

Louisiana Bancorp is the holding company for Bank of New Orleans, which has four branches in the Greater New Orleans area. The combined company will have assets of about $1.5 billion, $1.2 billion in loans and $1.2 billion in deposits.