Great Western Bank and First Federal Savings Bank of Iowa to Merge

SIOUX FALLS, SD, March 13, 2012 – Great Western Bancorporation, Inc. and North Central Bancshares, Inc. (“North Central”) announced their entry into a definitive merger agreement under which Great Western Bancorporation, Inc., the parent of Great Western Bank, will acquire North Central in a series of related transactions.  As part of the transactions, First Federal Savings Bank of Iowa (“First Federal”) will merge with Great Western Bank.

Subject to certain conditions, under the terms of the merger agreement, upon consummation of the transactions each issued and outstanding share of common stock of North Central will be converted into the right to receive $30.58 per share, representing a premium of 39% over the share closing price on March 12, 2012.  Shareholders of North Central will be entitled to receive approximately $41.5 million in the aggregate.

The board of directors of North Central has unanimously approved the merger agreement and recommended its approval and adoption by the shareholders of North Central.

The merger is expected to close in the summer of 2012, subject to various closing conditions including regulatory approvals and approval by North Central’s shareholders.

North Central is the parent company of First Federal.  First Federal is a state chartered commercial bank with assets of approximately $433 million and deposits of approximately $361 million.  First Federal conducts its operations from its main office in Fort Dodge and ten other branches in Iowa.  Eight of First Federal’s offices are in north-central and central Iowa and three are in south-east Iowa.  Following the closing of the transactions, Great Western Bank will have assets of approximately $8.9 billion and deposits of approximately $6.7 billion, with over 200 locations throughout Iowa, Nebraska, Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota.

From the President & CEO

“The transaction is consistent with our strategic growth plans and will enhance Great Western Bank’s presence in Iowa, the second largest agricultural producing state in the US. The addition of these branches demonstrates our commitment to the Iowa community,” explained Great Western Bank’s President & CEO, Ken Karels.  “The acquisition will offer our customers greater service opportunities and convenience with a combined network of over 200 free ATMs and over 50 branches throughout Iowa. Customers will find our product and service offerings among the most competitive in the region.”

From the Iowa Regional President

“Great Western Bank is excited to expand our Iowa footprint and further deepen our relationship with the Iowa community,” said Iowa Regional President Doug Bass.  “Customers can expect a high level of personal attention and customer service. We are eager to begin this new banking relationship with customers.”


Toni Cranny
Vice President of Marketing
Great Western Bank
(605) 978-5825

About Great Western Bank

Great Western Bancorporation, Inc. is the holding company for Great Western Bank.  Great Western Bank is a regional Midwestern bank with core relationship banking values, over $8 billion in assets and an agribusiness and commercial & industrial lending focus. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Great Western Bank has nearly 200 banking locations across seven states. Great Western Bank’s ultimate parent company, National Australia Bank Limited, is an international financial services organization with over $750 billion in assets.

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