Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bank of Montreal buys M&I for $4.1B

TORONTO - The Bank of Montreal announced Friday that it was acquiring Marshall & Ilsley Corp., which is headquartered in Milwaukee, for $4.1 billion in stock.

The bank said it signed a definitive agreement with the Wisconsin-based bank to exchange 0.1257 shares of Bank of Montreal for each share of M&I.

Canada's fourth largest bank is doubling its presence in the U.S. from 321 branches to 695. The Bank of Montreal has previously extended its business in the U.S. Midwest through its Chicago-based Harris unit.

Canadian banks, ranked the soundest in the world by the World Economic Forum, have been buying distressed banks in the U.S. in recent years.

"The acquisition is consistent with our strategy to strengthen our North American businesses," Bank of Montreal President and CEO Bill Downe said in a statement.

He said the addition of the Wisconsin bank would "align well with BMO's retail, commercial, and asset (and) wealth management businesses in the U.S."

M&I is headquartered in Milwaukee and has $51.9 billion in assets. The bank has more than 190 offices throughout Wisconsin as well as locations in Indiana, Minnesota and other states.

Bank of Montreal's parent, Toronto-based BMO Financial Group, said it is buying Marshall & Ilsley's $1.7 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program preferred shares and will repay them in full before the acquisition closes.

Bank of Montreal said once the transaction is completed, Marshall & Ilsley president and CEO Mark Furlong will become the CEO of the combined banks' U.S. personal and commercial banking business, based in Chicago.

The Bank of Montreal said the transaction has been approved by the boards of both banks and is expected to close before July 31.

by Associated Press Dec. 17, 2010 07:22 AM

Bank of Montreal buys M&I for $4.1B

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