The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 10, 2012

Pinnacle Bancorp will acquire First State Bank

By Andy Ostmeyer

JOPLIN, Mo. — First State Bank of Joplin will be acquired by Nebraska-based Pinnacle Bancorp Inc. by the end of the year.

Alden Buerge, chairman and chief executive officer of First State Bank, and Sid Dinsdale, chairman of Pinnacle Bank, signed an agreement they announced Wednesday morning. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

First State Bank has 60 employees at four locations in Joplin, one in Webb City and one in Sarcoxie, Buerge said, and total assets of $183 million.

Pinnacle, based in Lincoln, Neb., is a family-owned corporation that operates 127 banks in eight states, with assets of $6.7 billion.

First State Bank began operating in Joplin in 1925 at its current location at 802 S. Main St.

Pinnacle will file an application for the acquisition with bank regulators in Nebraska and Missouri, and with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures bank deposits, said Mark Hesser, president of Pinnacle.

Hesser said both banks are in a strong financial condition and that the nearest bank that Pinnacle owns to Joplin is in the Kansas City area, so there shouldn’t be any market challenges to the acquisition.

“We don’t anticipate any issues will arise during the regulatory process,” he said.

Hesser also said that John Lopes, president of First State Bank, will remain the president of Pinnacle’s Joplin banks, with authority to set local rates and make local decisions.

“We really do believe in local management, local control,” he said. “We’re not going to change that. We don’t anticipate major changes that are going to affect employees.”

Joplin will operate as one of 27 markets within the company.

Buerge said customers can continue to have confidence in the new owner, as both First State Bank and Pinnacle have five-star ratings from Bauer Financial, the top bank rating agency. That is the top rating given by Bauer.

“The agreement with Pinnacle Bank seems like a natural fit,” Buerge said in a statement announcing the deal. “Both First State Bank and Pinnacle Bank have been and will be operated under a community banking model and both are big believers in giving back to the communities where we are in business.”

Up next

ALDEN BUERGE, chairman and CEO of First State Bank, said he plans to remain in the banking business, as a principal owner of First National Bank in Clinton.