Boatmen's Bancshares has completed its acquisition of $7.4 billion-asset Fourth Financial Corp. of Wichita, Kan.

The transaction makes Boatmen's the largest banking company in Kansas and Oklahoma.

Boatmen's, which was already the largest in Arkansas, Missouri, and New Mexico, bought Fourth Financial in a stock transaction valued at $1.2 billion.

The $41 billion-asset Boatmen's has been seen as a likely takeover candidate itself since September, when Missouri began allowing out-of-state banks to acquire within its boundaries.

Boatmen's accounted for the tax-free exchange of stock as a pooling of interests.

Boatmen's executive vice president Darrell G. Knudson, who is the former chairman and chief executive of Fourth Financial, and Russell W. Meyer Jr., chairman and chief executive of Wichita-based Cessna Aircraft Co., were elected to the Boatmen's board as part of the merger.

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