Finance

Equity Bancshares, Inc. Expands Line of Credit with ServisFirst Bank





WICHITA, Kan., March 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Equity Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:EQBK), (“Equity”, “we”, “us”, “our”, or “the Company”), the Wichita-based holding company of Equity Bank, announced the renewal and increase of a $30 million line of credit with ServisFirst Bank of Birmingham, Alabama, as a means of capital for pursuing growth strategies, including merger opportunities within the Company’s regional footprint.Brad Elliott, Chairman and CEO of Equity, said, “We’ve had a transformative 17 months for our Company, with three mergers completed successfully, and of course, our IPO. Our mission has not changed. We continue our commitment to the growth of our customers, communities, and stockholders, while pursuing strategic growth opportunities for our Company. We’re proud to partner with another strong community bank to help provide additional capital for our growth strategies. We’re proud to be a customer of ServisFirst Bank.”Equity first secured a line of credit with ServisFirst Bank in July 2014 as a means of capital for the Company’s repayment of Troubled Asset Relief Fund obligations assumed during the Company’s purchase of First Community Bancshares, Inc. on October 26, 2012.  Following Equity’s initial public offering on November 16, 2015, the Company paid in full its line to ServisFirst. Equity can use funds from its current line of credit to support future growth through mergers, business combinations, and integrations with community financial institutions.Equity announced the completion of its merger with Prairie State Bancshares, Inc. (“Prairie”) of Hoxie, Kansas on Friday, March 10, 2017. Equity now has approximately $2.3 billion in total assets, $1.8 billion in deposits and $1.5 billion in loans, and 37 branch offices in its footprint of Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. The completed merger with Prairie was Equity’s second completed merger in four months, and the Company’s third in the last 17 months. Equity announced the completion of its merger with Community First Bancshares, Inc. of Harrison, Arkansas on November 10, 2016, and completed its merger with First Independence Corporation of Independence, Kansas, on October 9, 2015. The Prairie merger is Equity’s 11th strategic combination in the past 15 years.Equity closed a private placement of 770,000 shares of its Class A common stock at $32.50 per share on December 19, 2016. The net proceeds of $23.6 million, after offering costs of $1.4 million, were used to pay off $6.0 million drawn on Equity’s line of credit and will provide working capital for Equity’s continuing growth strategies.Equity also officially added Wendell Bontrager to its senior leadership team on February 20, 2017, as President of Equity Bank. Bontrager is based at Equity’s home office in Wichita, Kansas. He most recently served as Region President for Old National Bank in Fort Wayne, Indiana, after serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer for Tower Bank & Trust Company (“Tower”), prior to  Tower’s merger into Old National Bancorp on April 25, 2014.About Equity Bancshares, Inc.





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