DALLAS -- Already the largest Texas-owned financial institution in the state, Guaranty Federal Bank is about to get even bigger.

The Dallas-based savings bank said late Friday that it agreed to acquire $416 million of assets and assume $378 million of deposits from First Federal Savings Bank in San Antonio.

The $42 million cash deal, expected to close by yearend, has been approved by stockholders of VBFSB Holding Corp., First Federal's parent company.

|Very Enthusiastic' About Market

The acquisition would give Guaranty Federal nearly $9 billion in assets. The thrift is the largest locally controlled financial institution operating exclusively in the Lone Star State.

"Because of the explosive growth in the tourism and high tech industries in the greater San Antonio area, we're very enthusiastic about the San Antonio market," said Robert F. Adelizzi, chairman of Guaranty.

The growing San Antonio market is poised for even more explosive action because of an anticipated increase in trade with Mexico should the North American Free Trade Agreement go into effect.

Second Deal This Year

The pending acquisition is the second to be announced by Guaranty Federal this year. The savings bank reached a definitive agreement in February to acquire American Federal Bank of Dallas, which has $1.7 billion of assets, from Lone Star Technologies.

John Rowley, a spokesman for Guaranty Federal, said the savings bank would continue to look for healthy Texas institutions to buy. The company, owned by Temple-Inland Inc., a Diboll, Tex.-based wood and paper products company, operates in some 72 cities east of Interstate 35, which divides the state.

Guaranty focuses primarily on consumer mortgage lending in Texas, and also has a national profile in the mortgage finance business.

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