Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Liberty to Purchase 2nd Bank in Edmond

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Liberty to Purchase 2nd Bank in Edmond

Article excerpt

Liberty Bancorp Inc. plans to purchase First National Bank of Edmond, an $88.9 million bank, shareholders were told Wednesday.

The purchase, which is subject to regulatory approval, is Liberty's second Edmond buy. The Oklahoma City-based holding company is on track to complete its previously announced purchase of the First Oklahoma Bank Trust Co. of Edmond on July 1.

Price was not disclosed for either transaction.

The First National purchase was announced during Liberty's annual shareholders meeting. Completion of both purchases would give Liberty four Edmond locations, more than any metro bank.

"We're very pleased to acquire this high quality, historic banking institution," said Charles E. Nelson, Liberty chairman and chief executive officer.

"We continue to be impressed with the fast-growing Edmond area, and this acquisition reflects our intention to be a major factor in the community."

Both banks are expected eventually to be merged into Liberty Bank and Trust Co. of Oklahoma City NA.

Clarence R. Wright Jr., chairman and principal stockholder of First National, said the sale to Liberty would allow the bank's customers to take advantage of expanded products and services more quickly.

"It would be five years' time before we could offer the services and products and trust department that Liberty could do immediately" with the purchase.

Competition in Edmond from the state's largest banks _ Liberty, Bank of Oklahoma NA and Boatmen's First National Bank of Oklahoma _ has made extra services even more important.

Chief among those services is a branch network. Wright said adding two branches would cost the bank about $7 million and would take five years.

"It was time to sell. Liberty and several others were interested. Liberty met our terms. Also, John Kirkpatrick I have known since I got back from the service. I have always been appreciative of him for all he's done and for putting in the money in Liberty when banks were running out of state. …

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