First Federal Bank of Siouxland, Sioux City, Iowa, plans to convert to a stock company and purchase a thrift for $29 million in cash.

First Federal, a $552 million-asset thrift, would use the proceeds of the conversion-it did not say how much it intends to raise-to pay $15 for each outstanding share of Mid-Iowa Financial Corp., Newton. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 1999.

Barry E. Backhaus, president and chief executive officer of First Federal, said it was buying $135 million-asset Mid-Iowa to increase its presence in the central part of the state. First Federal operates 14 branches in Iowa and one in Nebraska.

After buying Mid-Iowa, First Federal might use the remaining cash from the stock conversion to buy other companies, Mr. Backhaus said.

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