Bank of Montreal strikes US$16.3 billion deal for Bank of the West

Posted by Jon Prior,

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The Bank of Montreal has agreed to buy BNP Paribas’ U.S. banking subsidiary, Bank of the West, for $16.3 billion in cash.

The deal, announced Monday, would expand the presence here of one of Canada’s largest banks by combining the $105 billion-asset Bank of the West in San Francisco with the $162.3 billion-asset BMO Harris in Chicago.

The parties are giving the deal, which is one of the industry’s biggest this year by combined assets, until the end of 2022 to close.

Federal regulators are debating how to change the review process for big-bank deals after President Biden signed an executive order over the summer requesting greater scrutiny of consolidation within the industry.

While some lawmakers have asked banking regulators for a moratorium on large M&A deals until the policy matters can be ironed out, the Fed approved First Citizens BancShares’ acquisition of CIT Group late last week in a sign that officials may still be able to move forward.

The sale of Bank of the West would mark the latest move by a foreign bank faced with stiff competition and growth challenges to offload a U.S. operation.

“This acquisition will add meaningful scale, expansion in attractive markets, and capabilities that will enable us to drive greater growth, returns and efficiencies,” BMO Financial Group CEO Darryl White said in a press release unveiling the deal…read more.