Canada's BMO to sell EMEA asset management unit for about $870 million

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Bank of Montreal (BMO) is seen on their flagship location on Bay Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada March 16, 2017. Picture taken March 16, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/File Photo

(Reuters) – Canada’s Bank of Montreal said on Monday it has entered into an agreement with Ameriprise Financial Inc to sell its EMEA asset management business for about C$1.1 billion ($870 million) in an all-cash transaction.

The transaction separately involves certain asset management clients of Bank of Montreal to move to Columbia Threadneedle Investment, Ameriprise’s global asset management business.

The terms of the U.S. agreement were not disclosed.

Bank of Montreal joins a clutch of banks in various regions that are looking to either sell or merge their asset management units either to gain scale or concentrate on other parts of their businesses.

The lender said the sale of the EMEA asset management unit will allow it to focus capital and investment in areas including its North American wealth management business, and that it will continue to invest in its Canadian asset management business.

The latest move by Bank of Montreal follows media reports that U.S. custodian bank State Street Corp is exploring options for its asset management business, including a merger with a competitor.

Societe Generale is also in exclusive talks to sell most of asset manager Lyxor to Amundi for 825 million euros ($982.82 million), while Wells Fargo & Co in February agreed to sell its asset management business for $2.1 billion.

($1 = 1.2541 Canadian dollars)

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