Lawrence National Bank is likely to be put up for sale this week, following orders issued Tuesday in Kansas City courts where the estate of the bank's late chairman is being probated.
"We'll probably start hearing that they'll begin taking bids fairly soon," said Terry Sutcliffe, LNB president.
Sutcliffe said this morning that he planned to discuss the possible bank sale today with representatives of the estate of Robert Brozman, the late chairman of Jayhawk Bancshares, the holding company that controls LNB. Brozman was majority stockholder in the holding company.
Sutcliffe said that he and other members of the bank's local management are interested in purchasing the bank.
Brozman had controlled the bank since 1980, when he bought it from H.J. Barr, a former Lawrence resident. If the local group is successful, LNB would become one of two commercial banks in Lawrence to be controlled by Lawrence residents. Savings Bank of Lawrence, a locally owned, federally chartered savings bank, expects to complete the the process of converting its charter to a commercial bank later this year.
On Tuesday, two Kansas City judges approved the estate's plans to sell some of Brozman's assets to satisfy debts. Those assets include Brozman's interest in seven banks, among them LNB.
Attorneys for the estate have said they would be seeking to sell the banks for 1.25 times their net worth, suggesting that LNB, with capital of about $6 million, would be marketed for approximately $7.5 million.
The Brozman estate, which has debts of $83.6 million against assets of $89.4 million, became embroiled in scandal since the discovery shortly after Brozman's death in June of $23.1 million in secret and possibly fraudulent loans. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is conducting a probe of the circumstances surrounding the loans.