Bank of Montreal's Multibillion-Dollar Purchase of BNP’s Bank of the West Targets California

By Hélène Bigras-Dutrisac CoStar News December 20, 2021 | 12:49 P.M.

Bank of Montreal's BMO Financial Group is buying BNP Paribas’ San Francisco-based Bank of the West and its subsidiaries for 21.1 billion Canadian dollars, or 16.3 billion U.S. dollars.

The deal accelerates BMO's commercial banking expansion and marks its entry into California, which BMO called a "highly competitive" market in a statement. About 70% of Bank of the West's deposits are in California, according to the statement.

Bank of the West had about CA$135 billion, or US$105 billion, in assets as of Sept. 30. The deal is expected to give BMO a footprint in 32 U.S states.

Once the deal closes at the end of 2022, BMO will have 514 new branches and commercial and wealth offices. BMO does not plan to close any Bank of the West branches, according to the statement.

The transaction will be funded primarily with excess capital, according to the statement. "This acquisition will add meaningful scale, expansion in attractive markets, and capabilities that will enable us to drive greater growth, returns and efficiencies," said Darryl White, CEO of BMO, in the statement.

Upon closing, BMO intends to merge Bank of the West into BMO Harris Bank NA, its indirectly owned Chicago-based subsidiary, the bank said in its statement. BMO and BNP Paribas did not immediately respond to requests for comment.




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