First Option buying Pony Express

From left, Blake Heid, First Option Bank president and CEO; Jeremy Smail, FOB chief financial officer and chief operating officer; Austin Handke, FOB vice president and loan officer; Steve Handke, FOB chief adminstration officer; Robert Means, Pony Express Community Bank president and CEO, and Dan Delaney, PECB senior vice president.

First Option Bank in Osawatomie, Kan., has inked a deal to acquire Pony Express Community Bank in St. Joseph, Mo.

The $73 million Pony Express Community Bank has $39 million in net loans and leases and offices in St. Joseph, Mo., as well as Elwood, Horton and Troy. Its footprint covers Buchanan and southern Andrew counties in Missouri and Brown, Doniphan, northern Jackson and northwestern Atchison counties in Kansas.

“While the bank’s name will be changing, our customers will continue to be served by the same dedicated employees with a strong commitment to our communities,” said Robert Means, president of Pony Express Community Bank. “First Option Bank is an outstanding organization with a longstanding tradition of community involvement and excellent customer service.”

Following the merger, expected to close in the fourth quarter, First Option Bank will have more than $400 million in total assets.

“Pony Express Community Bank, like us, takes pride in outstanding personal service and community support,” said First Option Bank President Blake Heid. “We plan to maintain a strong commitment to our communities and to meeting the customer’s needs in all of the locations we serve.”

First Option Bank currently has offices in LaCygne, Louisburg, Osawatomie, Paola and Spring Hill, Kansas. It serves over 20,000 customers with offices in Miami and Linn County, Kansas.