DENTON, Tex. — When Marquette Financial Cos. of Minneapolis hired longtime Texas banker Robert W. Wightman to run its operations in the Southwest this month, officials said they were close to announcing a deal for a bank in the Fort Worth area.

Late last week Marquette’s flagship bank in the Sun Belt, $2.1 billion-asset First State Bank of Texas in Denton, said that it would buy $335 million-asset First National Bank of Texas in Decatur for an undisclosed sum. Marquette, controlled by the Pohlad family of Minneapolis, is one of the largest privately held financial companies in the country, with more than $5 billion of assets.

The deal would be the Marquette subsidiary’s first on Mr. Wightman’s watch, though negotiations began last April, said Jerry Pavlas, the president and chief operating officer of First State Bank. It would also be its largest acquisition but almost certainly would not be the last, Mr. Pavlas said.

“I think we’re getting a reputation as a good partner to merge with,” he said. “There is a lot dialogue going on, but that’s all I better say about that.” The deal for First National is expected to close in November.

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