Taking his first step toward selling First Gibraltar Bank piecemeal, financier Ronald Perelman on Monday sold the thrift's Oklahoma branch operations in two deals valued at $31.4 million.

BOK Financial Corp. said it paid $16.9 million to acquire 19 branches and $520 million of deposits from Gibraltar's Sooner Federal Savings and Loan Association unit. BOK Financial and Sooner are both based in Tulsa.

Separately, Fourth Financial Corp., Wichita, Kan., said it paid $14.5 million to acquire nine branches and $360 million of deposits from Sooner.

Loans Retained

Dallas-based First Gibraltar said it retained Sooner Federal's loans; Oklahoma sources said the company was marketing about $60 million of Sooner's consumer loans in a separate package.

As previously reported, Mr. Perelman is attempting to break up and sell the $10 billion-asset First Gibraltar after several prospective bidders, including BankAmerica Corp. and First Union Corp., balked at the asking price for the entire franchise.

The transactions on Monday are both scheduled for completion by yearend, and both mark strategic turning points for the acquirers.

Largest Expansion in Years

For BOK Financial, parent company of Bank of Oklahoma, the Sooner Federal deal marks the largest expansion in years.

The company got an open-bank rescue in the late 1980s and last year was bought out by oilman George Kaiser, who has done well.

BOK Financial earned $6.3 million during the second quarter, an annualized return of 21.6% on equity and 1.3% on assets.

Venturing Outside Kansas

Mr. Kaiser, who is chairman and chief executive, in an interview said the 19 Sooner Federal branches would bring BOK Financial's branch network to 45 locations, furthering the company's push into consumer banking. The company will control roughly $2.3 billion of deposits after the deal.

The Sooner Federal deal marks the first out-of-state acquisition for Fourth Financial, which only recently gained liberty to venture outside Kansas as regional interstate banking prohibitions were lifted.

All nine Sooner Federal branches it is acquiring are in Tulsa.

Fourth Financial chief executive Darrell Knudson said the acquisition "should make an immediate contribution" to Fourth Financial's profitability.

The $4.2 billion-asset company said it will obtain a bank charter in Oklahoma, and Mr. Knudson said in an interview that he intended to expand into other areas of the state.

First Gibraltar obtained Sooner Federal about two years ago from the Resolution Trust Corp.

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