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State Bank & Trust parent buys First National Bank

First National Bank, which has branches in Dilworth (seen here) and in Hawley, Minn., is being sold to State Bank & Trust. Dave Olson / The Forum

HAWLEY, Minn. - The pending purchase of First National Bank, which has locations in Hawley and Dilworth, will not reduce employee numbers, according to an official with State Bank & Trust, whose parent company, State Bankshares, is buying First National.

"Some duties may change, but we would hope we can employ all of their current staff," said Richard Solberg, chairman and CEO of State Bank & Trust.

First National employs about 20 people in Hawley and Dilworth.

"The First National staff looks forward to becoming a part of the State Bank & Trust organization," said Rick Schultz, president of First National.

Solberg said the purchase agreement is subject to regulatory review, but he anticipates it could be completed within a few months.

He said when the purchase is final, the two First National Bank locations will become branches of State Bank & Trust.

"First National Bank has been a very good community bank for their customers," Solberg said. "We would just hope to continue to give them the good service they've gotten from First National Bank."

The purchase price for First National, which has $93 million in assets, was not disclosed.

First National Bank was founded in 1905 in Hawley.

The bank's owner, Curt Neumann, joined the bank in 1984, and his son, Jon, joined the staff in 1994.

When the purchase is complete, the Neumann family will no longer be involved in the bank's operation.

"We felt that State Bank & Trust maintains the same community bank values that we have always had," Curt Neumann said of the pending deal.

"We didn't look elsewhere, because we are confident that State Bank & Trust will be good for our customers and the communities we serve," he added.

With assets of more than $2 billion, State Bank & Trust is the largest privately owned bank in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

It operates 14 bank locations in North Dakota and Minnesota, including Fargo, West Fargo and Wahpeton in North Dakota, and Moorhead, Audubon, Detroit Lakes, Pelican Rapids, Fergus Falls and Alexandria in Minnesota.

It also has trust offices in Fargo and Bismarck.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555