Sunflower, First Western end planned merger

Sunflower Bank’s holding company said Friday it has stopped its planned merger with a Colorado-based bank holding company.

Salina-based Sunflower Financial said in a news release that it and First Western Financial have mutually terminated their merger agreement.

“Although the original rationale for the merger had merit, the parties determined that terminating the merger was in the best interest of both companies and their respective shareholders at this time,” Sunflower said in the release.

The deal between the two privately held bank companies was first announced in September. It was expected to create a $2.5 billion bank with branches in six states and a Los Angeles-based investment and trust business with $5.5 billion in managed assets.

The deal was expected to close in the first quarter of 2015.

Sunflower Financial has $1.7 billion in assets and owns Sunflower Bank, which has 35 offices in Kansas, Colorado and Missouri. It operates three offices in Wichita.