Wink Hartman Sr.’s new holding company to purchase CornerBank in Winfield

UPDATED — A year after buying his first bank, businessman Wink Hartman Sr. is creating a financial holding company for his Vintage Bank Kansas in Leon and working on the purchase of a second bank.

The new Vintage Bancorp – a corporation that will become a holding company – has entered into a stock purchase agreement with Cornerstone Alliance, a holding company for CornerBank in Winfield.

“Basically, Vintage Bancorp is purchasing CornerBank, if you will,” says Bruce Schwyhart, Cornerstone and CornerBank president. “CornerBank will continue to be a national bank.”

CornerBank has $278 million in assets. Vintage Bank, which until recently was known as the Bank of Leon, has more than $14 million in assets.

“We’re pleased with the CornerBank opportunity, and in the future, hopefully we’ll be looking for additional acquisitions,” Hartman says. “Presently, 100 percent of our time and effort is going to be to complete the acquisition of CornerBank.”

The deal is expected to close in July or August after shareholder and regulatory approval.

“We think this is a great opportunity – a great team in CornerBank,” says Steve Worrell, president of Vintage Bancorp and Vintage Bank. “They give us a nice size to grow with. They are in communities that are good communities to be in.”

Those communities include Winfield, Wellington, Douglass, Oxford, Wichita, Arkansas City and Lawrence.

The deal has been in the works for a year.

“It was an opportunity to meet some mutual objectives,” Schwyhart says.

He says some heirs of shareholders from years ago wanted to liquidate.

Schwyhart says CornerBank is one of the oldest community banks in Kansas.

“We’ve been here since 1872, if you can imagine that,” he says.

“They’ve been looking for shareholders that want to kind of take them to the next level,” Worrell says. “It seems like a great fit.”

Due to regulations and capital requirements, Schwyhart says, “It’s not easy to find people who want to be involved in community banking today.”

Schwyhart and Worrell will retain their positions.

“Wink will be the majority shareholder, no doubt about that,” Schwyhart says.

Hartman previously did business with CornerBank as a customer.

He says he, Worrell and Schwyhart “plan to continue to build on that banking heritage that they’ve developed over a long period of time.”

At some point after the acquisition is complete, there likely will be a name change – possibly to CornerBank – that will result in both banks having the same name.

“The banking industry has always interested me,” Hartman says.

He hired Worrell prior to his purchase of the State Bank of Leon in January 2011.

“That’s when the opportunity became a reality,” Hartman says.

He’d like to acquire more banks.

“We’re going to keep looking as time allows.”