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FOURTH FINANCIAL COMPLETES THREE BANK HOLDING COMPANY ACQUISITIONS; ACQUIRED ASSETS TOTAL $295 MILLION

 WICHITA, Kan., May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Fourth Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: FRTH), a Wichita-based regional bank holding company, today completed the acquisition of one Kansas and two Oklahoma bank holding companies with combined assets of approximately $295 million. The acquisitions increased Fourth Financial's consolidated asset size to $5.8 billion.
 Acquired were F&M Bank Services Inc., based in Derby, Kan.; Banchares of Woodward Inc. in Woodward and Waukomis, Okla.; and Nichols Hills Bancorporation Inc. in metropolitan Oklahoma City.
 "With these acquisitions in community markets that are new to us, we continue to enhance our BANK IV franchise," said Fourth Financial Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Darrell G. Knudson. "Bancshares of Woodward takes BANK IV Oklahoma into western Oklahoma, and we are entering our second Oklahoma metropolitan market with the Nichols Hills transaction. Our acquisition of F&M Bank Services strengthens the presence of BANK IV Kansas in the greater Wichita market.
 "Our strategy is to acquire well run, customer-driven banks and add value by providing customers with BANK IV's full array of banking services," Knudson said.
 Banchares of Woodward is the largest of the three acquisitions and has two offices. The company, with assets of $132 million, deposits of $117 million and $59 million in loans, was purchased with cash.
 The Nichols Hills company, including the Nicholas Hills Bank and Trust Co. subsidiary, was acquired in a stock transaction that will be accounted for as a pooling of interests. The company has $101 million in assets, $93 million in deposits and $55 million in loans.
 Fourth Financial acquired F&M Bank Services and its subsidiary Farmers and Merchants State Bank through a cash transaction. Farmers and Merchants had $61 million in assets, $56 million in deposits and $29 million in loans.
 The acquisitions are effective as of the close of business today, May 28, and all customers of the former banks can continue to transact business as usual at the facilities.
 Fourth Financial has one pending acquisition, the four-bank holding company Commercial Landmark Inc., in northeastern Oklahoma. Including today's acquisitions, the company operates 80 offices in 32 Kansas communities through its subsidiary, BANK IV Kansas, N.A., and 17 offices in Tulsa, one office in greater Oklahoma City and two offices in western Oklahoma through its subsidiary, BANK IV Oklahoma, N.A. The BANK IV banks provide a full line of banking and financial services for consumers, agri-business, small businesses and mid- to large-sized 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- 5/28/93
 /CONTACT: Michael J. Shonka, chief financial officer, 316-261-4510, for investment inquiries; or R. Brent Thompson, senior vice president, 316-261-4403, for general media inquiries, both of Fourth Financial Corp./
 (FRTH)


CO: Fourth Financial Corp. ST: Kansas, Oklahoma IN: FIN SU: TNM

PS -- NY036 -- 3424 05/28/93 13:48 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 28, 1993
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