Furthering its push into Oklahoma, Fourth Financial Corp. of Wichita, Kan., announced Friday that it had agreed to buy two Tulsa banks with combined assets of $398 million.

Fourth Financial said it would buy Fourth National Corp. in a stock swap valued at $44 million, of 1.64 times book value.

Separately, Fourth Financial will pay an undisclosed amount of cash equaling 1.35 times book value for Southem National Bank.

On Heels of Sooner Pact

The deals follow Fourth Financial's Aug. 10 agreement to buy $360 million in deposits its from the Sooner Federal thrift unit of Texas-based First Gibraltar Bank.

The three acquisitions, when completed, will give give Fourth Financial $714 million in deposits and 16 locations in the Tulsa area.

Fourth Financial plans to merge the three institutions under the name Bank IV Oklahoma. It will be the the third largest financial institution in Tulsa, with over 12% of deposits.

When barriers to interstate banking were lifted between Kansas and Oklahoma in July, speculation emerged that Fourth Financial itself might become a takeover target.

Expansion Plans

But Darrell Knudson, the bank's chairman and chief executive, has said he wants to pursue his own expansion plans.

"Our whole strategy in Oklahoma is to focus on the Northeast quadrant of the state," said Mr. Knudson in an interview.

"And there are some attractive community banks in markets outside of Tulsa," he added.

"They are going to be a tough player in that market," said Matt Finn, bank analyst at Burns, Pauli & Co. in St. Louis.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.