Alerus Financial, a business and consumer banking company based in Grand Forks, N.D., is expanding its Minnesota presence through a $56 million acquisition of Beacon Bank.

Twin Cities-based Beacon has offices in Shorewood, Excelsior and Eden Prairie and two offices in Duluth.

Alerus has $1.6 billion in banking assets, as of June 30, with about $419 million from its existing Minnesota offices. The addition of Beacon Bank will increase banking assets by about $352 million when the deal closes.

"For over 10 years, we've focused on growing our presence in the Twin Cities market," said Alerus President and CEO Randy Newman in a news release.

Alerus entered Minnesota in 2003 with the acquisition of a retirement plan administration company in St. Paul. Since then, it has made 10 other acquisitions in Minnesota, including Bloomington-based Interactive Retirement Systems Ltd. in January and Minneapolis-based Private Bancorporation Inc. for $15.9 million in July 2014.

"This is the largest bank transaction we've entered into and will allow us not only to expand our Twin Cities footprint, but also to enter into a new market in Duluth," Newman said in the statement.

"Our customers will benefit from the expanded array of mortgage, retirement, and wealth management products and services," said Beacon Bank President and CEO Bob Weiss in the news release.

Of Alerus' 667 total employees, 295 are at existing offices in Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Oakdale and Maplewood. Alerus also has locations in Arizona, New Hampshire and Michigan. Beacon Bank has 59 total employees.

The Beacon Bank offices will operate under their current name until the deal closes, which is expected to be in the first quarter of 2016.

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926