Equity moves to acquire First Federal

Equity Bancshares, the Wichita-based holding company of Equity Bank, announced Tuesday that it has agreed to acquire First Independence Corp., the holding company of First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Independence.

The transaction is expected to be completed in October and will transfer $134 million in assets and the operation of four branch locations in southeastern Kansas, including offices in Independence, Neodesha, Pittsburg and Coffeyville, according to an Equity Bank news release.

“We could not be more excited about the addition of new communities, employees, and customers to our Equity Bank family,” Equity Bank President and CEO Brad Elliott said in the release. “First Federal Savings & Loan Association does an outstanding job at providing value to its customers and communities. They are a true resource for the financial needs of southeastern Kansas citizens. We’re excited to continue to serve in this capacity.”

The transaction will be completed this fall pending First Independence shareholder approval and standard regulatory approval. Once complete, the acquisition would bump Equity’s asset holdings to about $1.5 billion and give the bank a stronger presence in southeastern Kansas. Equity Bank currently has four branches in the Wichita area and 25 total in Kansas and Missouri.

First Federal, based in Independence, will bear the Equity Bank name once the transaction is complete, according to the release.

Reach Bryan Horwath at 316-269-6708 or Follow him on Twitter: @bryan_horwath.