WICHITA — Steve Carr knew before he even looked at the paper this morning that he’d have some questions to answer.
There’s a legal notice in today’s paper that makes it appear that theater owner Bill Warren and lawyers Mark and Andrew Hutton are buying Community State Bancshares, parent company of Community Bank of Wichita, but that’s not the case.
“Nothing’s really changing,” says Carr, chairman and president. “The bank isn’t being sold.”
The bank is buying back stock from some stockholders, one of whom died and one of whom got divorced, and was forced to do a public notice about it.
“It’s a totally regulatory deal,” Carr says.
It’s one that he didn’t expect, either.
“We said, ‘Really? Seriously?’” upon learning there would have to be a notice.
The legal filing says Luxury Development Partners intends to apply for permission to get control of the bank, “and, thus, to become a bank holding company.”
Warren and the Huttons are owners of Luxury Development.
Carr says Luxury Development owns 8 percent of the bank, and each of the Huttons own about the same. For regulatory purposes, their shares are combined.
“Because they’re in business together, they look at them as a group,” Carr says.
With the stock buyback, any group that owns 24 percent or more of the bank must file paperwork and do the legal notice.
Carr’s family is the biggest shareholder but is not listed in the legal filing.
“We’re already considered a control group, and we filed our papers years ago,” he says.
Warren and the Huttons, who have been investors in the bank since its charter in 1999, aren’t acquiring more shares despite what it may look like, Carr says.
“I didn’t like the verbiage,” he says. “The Luxury Development corporation has been a stockholder from the get-go.”
Carr says the situation is “a lot of nothing.”
“It’s what we have to live with in the banking industry.”