Yorktown Financial Holdings in Tulsa, Okla., has agreed to buy CNBO Bancorp in Pryor, Okla.

Yorktown received approval last month from the Federal Reserve Board to become a bank holding company by acquiring the $80 million-asset CNBO, which owns Century Bank of Oklahoma and Century Home Mortgage of Oklahoma.

Steve Austin, a longtime banker who previously worked for Commerce Bank, was looking to get back into the industry after being encouraged by others to start a bank, the Tulsa World reported in late October. He raised $14 million from 110 shareholders to complete a bank deal, the website reported.

Austin focused on the 25 banks based in Oklahoma with the smallest equity capital. He also considered whether the bank had a succession plan when he looked at potential acquisition targets, the Tulsa World reported. He eventually contacted Rick Willhour, Century Bank’s chief executive, who had attended the same high school as Austin.

Century Bank had not been looking for a buyer but thought a deal with Austin made sense, Willhour told Tulsa World. "At our size and with the regulatory burden and the economy that we're operating in and the competition, we needed to grow,” he said.

Century Bank is expected to be renamed Yorktown Bank. Austin will become the CEO; Willhour will serve as president.

Century Bank, which was formed in 1983, has two branches in Pryor and two in Tulsa. The financial terms of the deal, which is expected to close Wednesday, were not disclosed.

 

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