First Belleville Bancshares didn't buy First National Bank in Hays, Kan., because of the seller's accounts-receivable unit, though the business could prove to be a nice added value.

First Belleville in Abilene, Kan., completed its purchase of First National Bank on Jan. 8 for an undisclosed price. The main draw was First National's two branches, in Hays and Plainville, says Kyle Campbell, president of First Belleville's Astra Bank. First Belleville has roughly $270 million in assets, including the latest acquisition.

While conducting due diligence, First Belleville got to learn more about National Billing, an Ellinwood, Kan., unit of First National that provides accounts-receivable management for businesses. As it turned out, National Billing was also a good fit for Astra, Campbell says.

"It didn't drive the transaction, but we like the business model," he says. "It's also got a good revenue stream. It was a good fit."

For now, National Billing is a unit of Astra Bank, but First Belleville has applied with the Federal Reserve Board to make it a separate subsidiary of the holding company.

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