Ancora Advisors has sent a shareholder proposal to the board of Middlefield Banc calling for the midwestern bank to be sold, citing stock undervaluation and a healthy M&A market.

The proposal recommends that the board of directors “immediately take the necessary steps to achieve a sale merger or other disposition of the company on terms that will maximize shareholder value as expeditiously as possible.”

It requested the proposal be added to the company’s proxy statement ahead of the 2022 annual meeting.

Ancora, with a 7.56% stake in Middlefield, noted that the bank’s total shareholders returns have underperformed versus relative indexes over the last five years. It called the bank’s stock undervalued with a forward earnings multiple of 8.8x versus 10.4x for peers.

Ancora has become one of the busiest activists in the U.S., having made demands at six separate companies over the last two years, according to Activist Insight Online data.

Middlefield’s stock was unchanged in after-hours trading Wednesday at $26.37.