Bank of Montreal acquires F&C Asset Management
Canadian lender will use acquisition to spearhead its European asset management business
Bank of Montreal is to acquire UK fund manager F&C to boost its European asset management operations. Photograph: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg
Canadian financial group Bank of Montreal has acquired F&C Asset Management, for £708 million pounds (€2 billion) in the second-largest takeover in its 196-year history.
“The F&C business is intended to form the centerpiece of BMO Global Asset Management’s European operations,” the companies said.
Based in London, F&C is the manager of the UK’s oldest investment fund, and can trace its roots back to 1868. It reported assets under management of £82.1 billion as of December 31st 2013, down from a high of £120 billion.
It also has an Irish office on Dublin's Harcourt Street, and its funds are distributed in Ireland through Friends First.
Bank of Montreal also has a wholesale banking operation, employing about 20 people in Dublin’s docklands.
Canada’s fourth-largest lender by assets will pay 120 pence a share in cash, the two firms said today in a joint statement. Shareholders will also receive the 2 pence annual dividend for 2013.
Bank of Montreal is joining other Canadian lenders in expanding their asset-management arms abroad amid a slowdown in domestic consumer lending. Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Toronto-Dominion Bank are among lenders that have added money managers outside the country in the past four years.
(Additional reporting Bloomberg)