BMO sells EMEA asset management business to Ameriprise Financial for $1.09B

TORONTO — BMO Financial Group has signed a deal to sell its asset management business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to Ameriprise Financial Inc. for $1.09 billion.

The companies also announced a new strategic relationship between BMO and Columbia Threadneedle Investments, Ameriprise's global asset management business.

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In a separate deal in the U.S., some BMO asset management clients will have the chance to move to Columbia Threadneedle Investments, if they agree. The terms of the U.S. agreement were not disclosed.

BMO's North American Wealth Management clients will also be offered the opportunity to access a range of Columbia Threadneedle investment management solutions. BMO expanded into Europe, Asia and the Middle East with its purchase of UK-based F&C Asset Management in 2014. BMO’s European fund range comprises publicly traded investment trusts, including Foreign and Colonial (F&C) Investment Trust.

Columbia Threadneedle said BMO's global asset management includes specialist ESG products, locations in the Netherlands and UK, and direct real estate capability based in Germany and France.

"This transaction... enables us to focus our resources where we have a competitive advantage and are well-positioned to deliver growth and accretive returns," said Joanna Rotenberg, group head of BMO Wealth Management

Rotenberg said the company will focus on its North American Wealth businesses, including its asset management business in Canada.

BMO expects to take a $745-million writedown of goodwill after tax related to deal in the second quarter of its financial year, it said.

The all-cash transaction will add $124 billion of AUM in Europe, said Ameriprise.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:BMO)

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