A new takeover of Canada’s largest bank by a foreign company will see the country gain a foothold in global markets as it expands into sectors such as international trade and financial services.
BMO Capital, the biggest bank in Canada, has agreed to pay $1 billion to acquire Canadian lender BMO Financial Group Inc. The deal follows an earlier sale of its Canadian banking assets by Toronto-based Bank of Nova Scotia Ltd.
A total of $1,837.4 million of BNY Capital’s debt is expected to be repaid by 2021-22, and the bank will also sell its non-Canadian assets to a Canadian consortium that includes the Canadian government.
It marks a significant step forward for Canada’s biggest lender, which has struggled to make headway in markets where the global financial system is in a period of crisis and where regulators are cracking down on risky practices.
“We are delighted that BMO is joining the growing group of global banks that are investing in the global economy, creating jobs and creating opportunity for Canadians,” said BMO CEO Tim Sloan in a statement.
The Canadian government will have a 10 per cent stake in the bank, with the rest held by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management.
Canada has a small financial sector, but the banks that make up BMO are among the world’s most powerful and influential, and have emerged as a major force in global economies.
They have invested in projects ranging from technology to infrastructure, and even in developing new forms of capital, such as a pilot project for a Canadian alternative to bitcoin.
Under the terms of the deal, BMO will continue to operate under its current name, BMB Financial Corp., but will change its name to BMO Corp. to be more recognisable to Canadians.
While the deal is the first of its kind in Canada in over a decade, it will not mark the end of a string of acquisitions by foreign companies.
Earlier this year, the U.S. government approved a deal that saw Bank of America acquire the struggling U.K. branch of Barclays Plc.
for $14 billion.
And last year, U.N. bank Banco Santander Corp. bought the assets of the UBS Group AG in a $20 billion deal.
More recently, the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of England agreed to purchase some of the assets held by the world-leading lender of record, Credit Suisse Group AG, for $2.5 billion.
Canadian officials have been keen to build on its international standing, and its role as a key player in the world financial system, and to boost its global position.
With more than $200 billion of assets under management, BNY has emerged as the world leader in international markets, with more than 500 branches worldwide and more than 10 million customers in 70 countries.
Its strong presence in Canada has led to a growing interest in the country from foreign investors, who have also been attracted by the bank’s strong balance sheet and strong business model.
However, the bank is also facing a slew of challenges, including the global fallout from the fallout from Brexit, and concerns over the global downturn in the economic recovery.
In recent months, it has struggled with a growing number of scandals, including allegations that it misused a subsidiary of the British bank HSBC Holdings Plc to launder millions of dollars.
At the same time, the banks have been hit with a spate of investigations by the U