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BMO Harris Bank will acquire San Francisco-based Bank of the West for $16.3 billion, doubling its retail footprint and expanding to 32 states.
The deal, announced Monday, will add more than 500 Bank of the West branches and $105 billion in assets, giving Chicago-based BMO Harris national heft and a significant entry into California, where most of the newly acquired branches are located.
Bank of the West has a half-dozen offices in the Corridor.
“This is a very, very big deal for the bank,” said David Casper, U.S. CEO of BMO Financial Group, the Canadian-based parent company of BMO Harris.
“This gives us an opportunity to be on the West Coast in a way that we’ve never been before.”
Bank of the West has 1.8 million customers and branches in 19 states from California to Wisconsin.
Under the terms of the agreement, the cash purchase will be funded primarily through excess capital, including nearly $2.9 billion on the Bank of the West balance sheet.
The deal is expected to close by the end of 2022, pending regulatory approval.
BMO Harris has $162 billion in assets, 2 million customers and more than 500 branches in Illinois, Indiana, Arizona, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, Florida and Wisconsin.
“The branch operations, there really are not going to be any loss of jobs,” Casper said. “We need everybody that’s customer-facing.”
Founded in 1874, Bank of the West operates branches and offices in 24 states and has more than 9,000 employees.
The bank is owned by Paris-based BNP Paribas, a leading European bank which is exiting the U.S. retail banking market with the sale of Bank of the West.
The French banking giant bought Bank of the West in 1979.