Surety Capital Corp., Hurst, Tex., would increase its assets 43% by buying Texstar National Bank.

Surety, which has $176.8 million of assets, agreed to pay $9.5 million in cash for $74 million-asset Texstar, a five-branch bank in Universal City. The deal is expected to close by March 31. Texstar is "a good, clean bank in a good market," said Bob Hackler, president and CEO of Surety Bank, into which Texstar would be merged.

The deal is Surety Capital's seventh since 1990, and its largest.

Surety officials said the deal is contingent on shareholder and regulatory approval, as well as raising enough to pay for it.

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