Dickinson Financial Corporation of Kansas City, the parent corporation of Academy Bank, announced today it has entered a definitive agreement and plan of merger to acquire Community Bancshares of Kansas, which owns 100% of Merit Bank. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed during the first half of 2017. Upon completion of the transaction, Merit Bank will be fully merged into Academy Bank.
Merit Bank is a $104 million Kansas community bank with three banking centers located in Overland Park, Olathe and Goff, KS. Merit was initially founded as the First State Bank of Goff in 1904, but was rebranded as Merit Bank in 2008 when the bank expanded into the Johnson County, Kan., market. While the three locations will carry the Academy Bank name, the Merit Bank branch staff will remain intact to continue to serve a growing customer base.
“I am excited to add Merit Bank’s customers and branches into the Academy Bank brand and DFC family,” said Paul Holewinski, Chief Executive Officer at DFC. “The acquisition fits well with our Academy Bank strategy of expanding our footprint in the Kansas City market in high-growth areas. The branches in Overland Park and Olathe are great locations, and we plan to build them into strong platforms of growth that attract new commercial and retail customers in Johnson County.”
Academy Bank currently has three Johnson County, Kan., banking centers located inside Wal-Mart Supercenters and opened a retail banking center in Fairway, KS, earlier this year.
Mark E. Emley, President and CEO of Merit Bank, will remain with Academy Bank as a Market President and lead a community banking team in Johnson County. Emley believes that the merger offers an attractive option for customers of both banks. “The customers of both Merit Bank and Academy Bank will benefit from the merger by gaining access to a greater variety of products and services and an expanded branch network,” said Emley. “It will also provide us with a larger lending limit that will make us more competitive with other banks in this market.”