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FOURTH FINANCIAL ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT PURCHASE OF BANCSHARES OF WOODWARD, INC. IN OKLAHOMA -- EXPANDS COMMUNITY PRESENCE IN STATE

 WICHITA, Kan., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Fourth Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: FRTH), parent of BANK IV Kansas and BANK IV Oklahoma, today announced it has reached a definitive agreement to purchase Bancshares of Woodward, Inc., with subsidiary banks in Woodward and Waukomis, Okla. This is a cash transaction with an expected completion date of the second quarter of 1993.
 Under the terms of the agreement, Bancshares of Woodward's Cimarron Bank in Waukomis, Okla., will be merged with The Bank of Woodward, which will in turn be merged into BANK IV Oklahoma, a subsidiary of Fourth Financial. The Bancshares of Woodward subsidiary banks have combined assets of $135 million and deposits of $121 million.
 Woodward and Waukomis will represent two new community markets for BANK IV which fit well with our vision of becoming one of Oklahoma's premier community banking organizations,'' said Fourth Financial Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer Darrell G. Knudson. This agreement serves as another step for us in Oklahoma in replicating our successful Kansas strategy of providing full service banking in both metropolitan and community bank markets.''
 On Dec. 11, 1992, Fourth Financial acquired the former Southern National Bank of Tulsa. Two other Tulsa acquisitions, the Fourth National Bank and nine of Sooner Federal's offices will be completed by Dec. 31, 1992. The recently announced Guaranty Bank acquisition, also in Tulsa, is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 1993.
 Hugh R. Jones, president and CEO of Bancshares of Woodward, said, We are extremely pleased to be able to join forces with the BANK IV family because of its long track record of serving customer needs on the local level. Once the conversion is completed, we are confident of our ability to maintain our friendly, personalized service while offering customers the products and services of a major regional bank holding company.''
 Fourth Financial Corp. is a Wichita-based holding company with consolidated assets of $4.6 billion. Upon the completion of all announced transactions in Kansas and Oklahoma, Fourth Financial is expected to grow to an asset size of $5.6 billion, operating 78 offices in 31 Kansas communities through its subsidiary BANK IV Kansas, N.A., and 19 offices in Oklahoma through its subsidiary BANK IV Oklahoma, N.A. The BANK IV banks provide a full line of banking and financial services for consumers, small businesses and mid to large-size companies. Fourth Financial's common stock and depositary shares
are traded on the NASDAQ National Market System under the symbols FRTH'' and


FRTHZ,'' respectively.
 -0- 12/29/92
 /CONTACT: Brent Thompson, senior vice president, 316-261-4403 or Michael J. Shonka, CFO, 316-261-4510, both of Fourth Financial Corp.; or Hugh R. Jones, president and CEO of The Bank of Woodward & Bancshares of Woodward, Inc., 405-256-5523/
 (FRTH)


CO: Fourth Financial Corporation; Bancshares of Woodward, Inc. ST: Kansas IN: FIN SU:

TM -- NY046 -- 0457 12/29/92 18:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 29, 1992
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