Sunflower Financial in Salina, Kan., has agreed to merge with Strategic Growth Bancorp in El Paso, Texas.

The $1.8 billion-asset Sunflower expects to combine with the $2.2 billion-asset Strategic Growth to create a company with $3 billion in loans and 60 branches in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas. The price was not disclosed. The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter.

The company will also move its headquarters to Denver. Sunflower, in fact, had planned to move its operations to Denver last year as part of a plan to buy First Western Financial, but that deal was terminated.

Mollie Hale Carter, Sunflower's chairman and chief executive, will become co-chairman, president and CEO of the combined company and chairman and CEO of the bank. William Sanders, Strategic Growth's chairman, will become the company's co-chairman. Sunflower and Strategic Growth will each have five directors on the combined board.

Pablo Sanders, who co-founded Strategic Growth in 2009, will become the combined company's chief operating officer.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods advised the companies in connection with the merger. Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough served as Sunflower's legal counsel, while Davis Polk & Wardell advised Strategic Growth.

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