Great American Bank merges with the University National Bank of Lawrence

LAWRENCE, Kan .– (BUSINESS WIRE) – First Financial Bancshares, Inc., located in Lawrence, Kansas, the holding company of the Great American Bank, collectively “Great American,” and Lawrence Financial Corporation, located in Lawrence, Kansas, the holding company of the University National Bank of Lawrence “UNB,” jointly announced today that they have reached a final agreement that Great American will take over UNB.

Upon completion of the proposed transaction, the combined company will be based on financial data as of December 30th.

“We are very pleased about the planned merger with UNB. Our companies share similar cultures that emphasize service to our customers, employees and communities. The merger of the two remaining independent banks in Lawrence will create an even stronger surviving institution, ”said Les Dreiling, president and chief executive officer of Great American Bank.

“We are proud to partner with Great American and believe the merger will be a great fit,” said Todd Sutherland, chairman and president of the University National Bank of Lawrence. “The combination with the only other independent bank in Lawrence ensures that our customers continue to receive the same local service while receiving competitive products and services from a larger community bank.”

The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions including the approval of Lawrence Financial Corporation shareholders and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Doug Compton, president of First Financial Bancshares, Inc. and chairman of the Great American Bank, and Todd Sutherland, president and chairman of Lawrence Financial Corporation and the University National Bank of Lawrence, negotiated the terms of the merger on which the definitive agreement was based. The Whitlock Company served as the financial advisor to Great American. Daniel L. Watkins’ law firm served as legal advisor to Great American. Olsen Palmer LLC acted as financial advisor to Lawrence Financial Corporation and the University National Bank of Lawrence and issued a fairness opinion to the board of directors of Lawrence Financial Corporation. Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford, LLP provided legal advice to UNB.

About First Financial Bancshares, Inc.

First Financial Bancshares, Inc. is a Kansas company and the holding company of Great American Bank, founded in 2000 and having five convenient locations in four cities including Lawrence, Kansas; De Soto, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Lake Lotawana, Missouri. Great American Bank, headquartered in Lawrence, Kansas, had total assets of approximately $ 256 million in products as of June 30, 2021 that meet the needs of consumers and business customers. For more information on Great American, see www.greatambank.com.

About Lawrence Financial Corporation

Lawrence Financial Corporation is a Kansas corporation and the holding company of the University National Bank of Lawrence, a nationally recognized bank based in Lawrence, Kansas. The University National Bank of Lawrence was founded in 1988 and operates a full-service branch. As of June 30, 2021, the University National Bank of Lawrence had total assets of approximately $ 92 million. For more information on UNB, see www.unbank.com.

No offer or solicitation

This press release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer to buy or a solicitation of an offer to sell or exchange of securities, or a solicitation of any proxy, vote or approval, and may not be made in any jurisdiction, in which such an offer or solicitation is not permitted.

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