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Sunday, July 13, 2014

CornerBank, Vintage Bank end merger plans

By Jerry Siebenmark
The Wichita Eagle

CornerBank and Vintage Bank Kansas said Wednesday they have terminated an acquisition agreement they announced nearly four months ago, primarily over funding for the deal.

“Given the passage of time and specific requirements detailed in the Agreement, both CornerBank and Vintage agreed it was in both parties’ best interest to terminate the Agreement,” Steve Worrell, president and CEO of Vintage Bank, said in a release. “Both parties see the benefits of continuing to review options that make sense to all concerned.”

Worrell did not return a call for comment Wednesday.

But Bruce Schwyhart, CornerBank’s CEO, said Vintage Bank officials were unable to meet the funding deadline that was required in the agreement. While the agreement has been terminated, “we are still talking,” Schwyhart said.

He isn’t certain what that will mean or whether the two banks will try a merger or acquisition again. But he said the bank liked the valuation it received in the deal and CornerBank shareholders approved the acquisition.

CornerBank is a $274-million-asset bank based in Winfield with a loan production and deposit-gathering office at 12828 E. 13th St. in Wichita. It also operates branches in Oxford, Wellington, Lawrence, Douglas, Winfield and Arkansas City.

Vintage Bank is a $14.3-million-asset bank based in Leon. It was formerly the State Bank of Leon and renamed after Wichita oilman Wink Hartman acquired the bank in 2010.

If the deal had been completed, Vintage Bank would have been the successor bank. That’s unusual because in a bank merger or acquisition the succeeding institution typically is the one that has more assets – or assets similar to those to the bank it is acquiring.

This is the second scuttled deal for CornerBank in the past four years.

In October 2008, CornerBank and Wichita-based Emprise Bank announced they had begun merger talks. Within a month, the banks called off the deal. Emprise and CornerBank officials said at the time that a number of issues arose during those talks to prevent the deal, including valuation of CornerBank and concerns by CornerBank officials about potential post-merger layoffs.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com.

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