Market Overview

Stitt Family Trusts Execute Agreement to Acquire Farmers Exchange Bank


The Stitt Family Trusts, which collectively own 100% of Gateway Mortgage
Group, a full-service mortgage company licensed in 41 states and the
District of Columbia, announced the signing of a definitive stock
purchase agreement to acquire more than 85% of the stock of Cherokee,
Oklahoma-based Farmers Exchange Bank. Following the acquisition, the
Stitt Family Trusts plan to merge Gateway Mortgage Group into Farmers
Exchange, which will support the long-term growth of both institutions,
as well as diversify the financial services offered to both mortgage and
bank customers. Closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory
approval and certain other customary closing conditions.

Following the closing of the acquisition, the bank will be one of the
top five in Oklahoma by employment and net income. The acquisition will
allow the resulting bank to offer clients a broader range of products
while lowering costs for financial services. The resulting bank's
business model will build upon the success of Gateway Mortgage Group,
which has become one of the largest privately held mortgage companies in
the country.

"We believe this acquisition is an important next step for Gateway
Mortgage Group that will allow for growth, providing greater opportunity
for employees and the communities they serve," said Stephen Curry,
Gateway Mortgage Group's newly appointed CEO. "Through this acquisition,
both Farmers Exchange Bank and Gateway Mortgage Group can expect to gain
improved products and technology that will enhance their ability to
strengthen the families in their communities. We're excited about this
new venture and the benefits it will provide to our customers."

"Gateway Mortgage Group has always maintained a strategic eye on growth
in Oklahoma, and we are proud of the great culture and workplace that
we've been known and recognized for," said Kevin Stitt, founder of
Gateway Mortgage Group. "We are excited to extend a warm welcome to the
new team members, their families, and the customers of Farmers Exchange.
Our company was built on the foundation of a set of core values that
drive us every day to continue expanding development opportunities for
our communities and the team members that work here while we support the
financial needs of our customers across the country."

Following the merger, Donald Powell, former Chairman of the FDIC under
President Bush, plans to join the resulting bank's Board of Directors.

Shapiro Bieging Barber Otteson, LLP served as outside legal counsel to
the Stitt Family Trusts and Gateway Mortgage Group. Fenimore, Kay,
Harrison & Ford, LLP served as outside legal counsel to Farmers Exchange

About Gateway Mortgage Group, LLC.

Gateway is one of the largest privately held mortgage origination and
servicing companies in the United States. Founded in 2000 and
headquartered in Jenks, Oklahoma, the company employs more than 1,200
team members in over 160 offices nationwide and currently services $17
billion in residential mortgages. For more information about Gateway,
Gateway Mortgage Group, LLC (NMLS 7233).

View Comments and Join the Discussion!