Thursday 22 February 2018

Bank of Montreal agrees to buy F&C for £708m

Kevin Lynch, vice-chairman of Bank of Montreal, which has agreed to buy F&C Asset Management
Kevin Lynch, vice-chairman of Bank of Montreal, which has agreed to buy F&C Asset Management

Gavin Finch and Howard Mustoe

BANK of Montreal has agreed to buy the manager of the oldest UK investment fund for £708m (€859m) – the second largest takeover in its history.

Canada's fourth-biggest lender by assets will pay 120 pence a share in cash for F&C Asset Management. F&C shareholders will also receive their 2p dividend for last year.

F&C "is intended to form the centrepiece of BMO Global Asset Management's European operations", the companies said.

Bank of Montreal, like other Canadian lenders, is expanding its money-management arm abroad amid a slowdown in domestic consumer lending.

It's acquiring a London-based firm whose assets shrank last year as institutional clients pulled funds.

"With an established pedigree in fixed-income investment and broad equity and property capabilities", F&C will "add scope and scale to our well-established portfolio of wealth-management businesses", Bank of Montreal chief executive William Downe said.

F&C shares rose 4pc to 121 pence at 9am in London yesterday. They surged 25pc on Monday, when F&C said it was in talks with the bank and was likely to recommend a bid.

David McCann, an analyst at Numis Securities in London, said that Bank of Montreal's offer may flush out other bidders.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Promoted Links

Also in Business