Sandhills to buy branches in Nebraska

A  Nebraska bank is expanding its presence in the western reaches of the state.

Bassett-based Sandhills State Bank is buying a trio of branches from Western States Bank, which is based in Laramie, Wyo.

The three branches are in Grant, Ogallala and Wauneta, Neb., and collectively have $64 million in deposits. The deal also includes about $70 million in loans.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but it brings the $242 million Sandhills’ branch total to a round dozen. They are in Hay Springs, Alliance, Harrison, Hyannis, Arthur, Keystone, Elsie, North Platte, Valentine, and Bassett, Neb. Four of those branches were added two years ago when Sandhills acquired Bank of Keystone, Neb.

The $520 million Western States will have four branches in Nebraska following the deal, expected early next year, in Gering, Scottsbluff and Bayard. It also has three branches each in Wyoming and Colorado.

Western States reported $2.2 million in income for the first six months of 2018, compared to $1.9 million in the first half of 2017. It was created in 2016 through the merger three banks, two owned by First Express of Nebraska, Inc., and one by First Wyoming Bancorporation.