Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Banc One Buys Liberty Bancorp

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Banc One Buys Liberty Bancorp

Article excerpt

Banc One Corp. is boosting its role among Oklahoma's largest financial institutions with its $544 million acquisition of Liberty Bancorp Inc.

The deal will result in Liberty merging with Banc One and all its institutions assuming the Banc One name, according to Monday's announcement by Liberty Bancorp's Chairman and CEO Charles E. Nelson and Banc One Corp.'s Chairman and CEO John B. McCoy.

The acquisition will add 29 branches and $2.9 billion in assets, making the Columbus, Ohio-based bank one of the top three banks in the state with 10 percent of all deposits. Terms of the deal provide that Liberty Bancorp shareholders will receive 1.175 shares of Banc One stock for each share of Liberty Bancorp stock. Liberty's stock closed at 50 1/4, up 8 1/2, Monday on the Nasdaq. Banc One stock closed at 44 3/4, down c, on the NYSE. Expected to be completed the end of June, the deal is subject to approval by the Federal Reserve. The Liberty Tower in downtown Oklahoma City will be the main bank, with the building becoming the Bank One Tower after the merger is completed, said McCoy. Liberty Bancorp includes member banks Liberty Bank and Trust Co. of Oklahoma City NA and Liberty Bank and Trust Co. of Tulsa NA. Banc One is a multi-bank holding company, including Bank One, Oklahoma. As of Sept. 30, Banc One had assets of $98.6 billion and common equity of $8.2 billion. The company operates 1,503 banking offices in 12 states. "Simply put, it's the right partner at the right time," said Nelson. "We are very pleased to be joining Banc One, which has demonstrated an exceptional ability to dramatically improve operating performance of its affiliates," Nelson said. "This association will permit us to play an even more significant role in the future growth of Oklahoma." Liberty's merger comes on the heels of discontinued talks with BOK Financial Corp. …

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