Bank IV Completes Equity Purchase

Article excerpt

Bank IV Oklahoma NA charged into Oklahoma City Thursday with the completion of a $92 million cash purchase of Equity Bank for Savings FA.

The Tulsa-based bank added 10 metro locations, including seven in Oklahoma City itself. It also has authority to open an additional branch in Norman. Bank IV has had a location in Nichols Hills since its May 1993 merger with Nichols Hills Bank and Trust Co.

Equity was purchased by Bank IV's parent company, Fourth Financial Corp. of Wichita, from LSB Industries Inc., an Oklahoma City chemical manufacturer. The deal was announced in December.

The sale resulted in a $25 million gain to LSB. Prior to the closing, LSB purchased about $65 million worth of plant, property and equipment utilized by LSB's other operations.

The company had been renting about eight to 10 Oklahoma City area properties from Equity.

LSB also purchased from Equity the $57 million mortgage on Equity Tower, a 22-story Class A office building at 1601 Northwest Expressway. The manufacturer, which has an office in the building, plans to hold the property as an investment. The company will retain its office there, which is apart from its corporate headquarters, according to Tony Shelby, chief financial officer of LSB.

The tower is to be renamed Bank IV Tower. The bank will lease 33,000 square feet _ about the same space used by Equity _ for its Oklahoma City headquarters, according to James N. Young Jr., president of Bank IV, Oklahoma City.

"We are excited about having our headquarters in this beautiful centrally located building."

He said the bank will not change the signs at the Equity locations until the completion of a computer conversion, expected for June 25.

"We don't want to create any unrealistic expectations in the minds of our customers. We can handle Bank IV customers at our Equity branches, but it will be cumbersome right now. We want to have a smooth transition with existing customers."

The building's occupancy rate is close to 100 percent, Shelby said.

The deal boosted Bank IV's assets by $475 million, giving it $2.5 billion in assets statewide. …