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BoM may buy F&C

Bank of Montreal is in talks to buy F&C Asset Management, manager of the oldest UK investment fund, for about 697 million pounds in what would be the second-largest takeover in its 196-year history. Canada’s fourth-largest lender by assets made an indicative offer of 120 pence a share, the London-based money manager said. Shareholders will also receive the 2 pence annual dividend for 2013, the company said. Bank of Montreal is joining other Canadian lenders in seeking to expand its international asset management business amid a slowdown in domestic consumer lending. Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are among lenders that have added money managers outside the country in the past four years. Bank of Montreal bought London-based Pyrford International in 2007 for C$41 million. Four years later, it purchased Hong Kong-based Lloyd George Management, which had an office in the U.K., and introduced its BMO Global Asset Management brand. The acquisition would be the firm’s second-largest, following its C$4.1 billion takeover of Milwaukee-based bank Marshall & Ilsley Corp. in July 2011.

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