BMO Financial Group is acquiring U.K. money manager F&C Asset Management in a C$1.3 billion (US$1.2 billion) deal, doubling BMO Global Asset Management's assets under management to US$269 billion.
The acquisition demonstrates BMO's “deep commitment to the asset management business, where we have steadily been building our global client base,” said William Downe, CEO at BMO Financial Group in a conference call. “It is an excellent strategic, financial and cultural fit.”
The deal is expected to close after May 1, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.
The deal extends BMO's global reach, said Gilles Ouellette, group head of wealth management at BMO Financial Group, in the conference call, and offers “attractive” distribution capabilities in the U.K. and the rest of Europe. “As Europe continues to recover … and growth accelerates in the U.K. these are very attractive markets for us,” said Mr. Ouellette.
F&C's assets under management were £82.1 billion ($136.2 billion) as of Dec. 31, according to an interim management statement on Tuesday.
“F&C has made significant progress in the last couple of years,” said Richard Wilson, CEO of F&C, in a statement published on the manager's website. “We have developed new products, strengthened our distribution channels and reduced our cost base, putting the business in a strong position to move forward.”
A spokesman for F&C declined to comment further.
The announcement follows a London Stock Exchange announcement on Monday by F&C detailing an indicative offer from BMO.