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BMO Financial Group Accelerates North American Growth with Strategic Acquisition of Bank of the West

BMO Financial Group Accelerates North American Growth with Strategic Acquisition of Bank of the West

Expansion to major new U.S. geographies, including highly attractive California market, a natural next step in BMO’s North American growth strategy

BMO Financial Group, and its indirect wholly-owned Chicago-based subsidiary BMO Harris Bank N.A., announced the signing of a definitive agreement with BNP Paribas to acquire Bank of the West and its subsidiaries, with assets as of September 30, 2021 of approximately C$135 billion (US$105 billion). This acquisition aligns with BMO’s strategic, financial and cultural objectives.

Under the terms of the agreement, BMO will acquire Bank of the West for a cash purchase price of US$16.3 billion, or US$13.4 billion net of estimated US$2.9 billion of excess capital (at closing) at Bank of the West.  BMO will fund the transaction primarily with excess capital reflecting its strong capital position and anticipated capital generation.

PREDICTIONS SERIES BANNER

Founded in 1874, Bank of the West has a strong track record of serving retail, small business, commercial and wealth clients. With the combination of two highly complementary geographies and building upon BMO’s digital, data and analytics capabilities, this acquisition enables contiguous market extension, the acceleration of BMO’s commercial banking expansion, and highly competitive scaled entry into California.

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On closing, the acquisition will bring nearly 1.8 million customers to BMO and will further extend its banking presence through 514 additional branches and commercial and wealth offices in key U.S. growth markets. Post closing, BMO will have a strong position in 3 of the top 5 U.S. markets, a footprint in 32 states, expanded national specialty commercial businesses and a digital banking platform gathering deposits in all 50 states. With approximately 70% of Bank of the West’s deposits in California, BMO is making a scaled entry to a market with a population of approximately 40 million people producing US$3.1 trillion of GDP – which, if considered as a country, would rank as the world’s 5th largest economy.

“With the strength of our performance and our integrated North American foundation, we have never been better positioned to take this next step in our growth strategy and to deliver for the new customers and colleagues we look forward to welcoming to BMO. This acquisition will add meaningful scale, expansion in attractive markets, and capabilities that will enable us to drive greater growth, returns and efficiencies,” said Darryl White, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group.

“We will deliver a highly competitive offering to new growth markets, combining the strength of our digital banking platform and a strong team of bankers to generate leading customer growth.”

“Breaking down barriers to inclusion is a driving force for both banks – it’s a commitment central to BMO’s Purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life. Both BMO and Bank of the West have achieved “Outstanding” Community Reinvestment Act ratings, supported by robust commitments to investing in our communities. We’ll be well positioned to support the communities we serve and to help our customers make real financial progress,” concluded Mr. White.

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“Bank of the West is a well-run and well-respected organization that will bring complementary capabilities, products and segment expertise to BMO, all of which are accretive to our existing franchise,” said David Casper, Group Head, North American Commercial Banking and U.S. Chief Executive Officer, BMO Financial Group. “Combining these strengths with BMO’s proven track record of executing and integrating acquisitions will position us to leverage our capabilities to serve more personal, business, commercial and wealth customers. It’s also a great opportunity to build upon our strong track record of engaging with communities where we operate.”

On behalf of all of my colleagues at Bank of the West, I am excited for what this new opportunity will bring for our customers, our employees and our longstanding community partners. Bank of the West’s presence in many of the largest and fastest growing markets in the U.S. provides an ideal and complementary commercial and retail banking platform to fuel BMO’s growth. Combined with BMO’s suite of products and capabilities we’ll be able to help even more customers achieve real financial progress. Our team of dedicated commercial and business bankers will be a great fit with BMO, working on creative solutions to match individual needs,” said Bank of the West CEO Nandita Bakhshi.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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