Equity Bank in Andover, Kan., is bulking up in its home state with deals to acquire a small bank in Lawrence and four branches in Topeka from a Missouri bank that is exiting the market.

In two separate deals announced Tuesday, the $483 million-asset bank said that it would buy the University National Bank, a one-branch bank in Lawrence, and four Topeka branches from Citizens Bank & Trust of Chillicothe, Mo.

The deals, expected to close by the end of 2011, would boost Equity's assets by roughly 41%, to $680 million and increase its number of branches in Kansas to 14. (It also has one branch in Missouri.)

Lawrence and Topeka would both be new markets for Equity. In a news release, Equity said that University's chief executive, Todd Sutherland, would join Equity after the deal closes. "Todd has done a great job building the bank in Lawrence and now as part of Equity, he and his team will be able to generate even more business," said Brad Elliott, Equity's chairman and CEO.

Citizens Bank's decision to sell the Topeka branches would mark its exit from a market it entered in 2008 when it acquired the failed Columbian Bank & Trust Co. In a news release, Citizens' CEO Roger Arwood said that the sale of the Topeka branches "is part of our organization’s ongoing effort to reallocate capital and resources to support both our near- and long-term strategic goals."

FinPro Inc. of Liberty Corner, N.J., advised Equity on both transactions. Deal prices were not disclosed.

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