Equity Bancshares in Wichita, Kan., has agreed to buy First Independence in Independence, Kan.

The $1.3 billion-asset Equity did not say how much it plans to pay for the $134 million-asset First Independence. The companies expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter, after approval from regulators and from First Independence's shareholders.

First Independence operates four branches of First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Independence in southeastern Kansas, as well as a loan production office in Lawrence, Kan. Equity operates 25 branches in Kansas and Missouri.

FinPro Capital Advisors and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods were financial advisers to Equity. Norton Rose Fulbright was its legal counsel. Sandler O'Neill was financial adviser to First Independence and Silver, Freedman Taff & Tiernan was legal counsel.

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