RBC completes acquisition of RBTT
PORT OF SPAIN/TORONTO, June 2008 — Royal Bank of Canada (RY on the TSX and NYSE) today announced it has completed its acquisition of the RBTT Financial Group (RBTT) for a purchase price of approximately TT$13.7 billion (US$2.2 billion). This historic transaction creates one of the most expansive banking networks in the Caribbean, with a presence in 18 countries and territories across the region. With more than US$13.7 billion in assets, the combined operations will have 130 branches across the Caribbean, with 7,000 employees serving more than 1.6 million clients.
“The completion of this transaction affirms RBC’s position in the Caribbean region and advances our strategy to continue to grow our banking operations outside Canada,” said Jim Westlake, RBC’s head of International Banking and Insurance. “RBTT’s network complements our Caribbean retail banking operations perfectly.”
RBC’s expanded Caribbean retail banking operations will ultimately be headquartered in Trinidad and Tobago.
“The combination of these two organizations is all about growth and expansion, which creates new opportunities for our stakeholders,” said Peter July, RBTT Group Chairman. “It has brought enhanced value to our shareholders who, in addition to receiving a premium for their RBTT shares, can now invest in one of the most stable and successful banking entities in the world.”
In the coming months, Suresh Sookoo, RBTT Group CEO and Ross McDonald, RBC’s current head of Caribbean banking, will share responsibility for leading a smooth transition. Senior management from both organizations will be integrated, and Sookoo will become CEO of RBC’s Caribbean retail banking operations, following the successful integration of the two operations.
“We are excited about the opportunities the transaction provides clients and employees of both companies,” McDonald said.
“This deal creates a significantly larger organization that is better positioned to serve all our customers, who will benefit from expanded market coverage, the increased lending capacity of the combined banks, and an expanded range of products,” Sookoo added.
The acquisition marks RBC’s return to Trinidad and Tobago, where it had maintained operations from 1902 to 1987. RBC has been working with the regulatory agencies to explore the possibility of issuing depositary receipts backed by RBC common shares on the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange.
Safe Harbor Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this press release may be deemed to be forward-looking statements under certain securities laws, including the “safe harbor” provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and in any applicable Canadian securities legislation, and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and RBTT Financial Holdings Ltd. (RBTT) intend that such forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor created thereby. The words “may,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “suspect,” “outlook,” “believe,” “plan,” “strategy,” “opportunity,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “forecast,” “objective” and words and expressions of similar import are intended to identify forward-looking statements.
By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve numerous assumptions, and inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and risks exist that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking statements, including statements about growth in the Caribbean and the potential issuance of the deposit receipts, will not be achieved. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements as a number of important factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from the beliefs, plans, objectives, expectations, anticipations, estimates and intentions expressed in such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to the possibility that the anticipated benefits of the transaction are not realized as a result of such things as the strength of the economy and competitive factors in the areas where RBTT does business; the impact of changes in the laws and regulations regulating financial services and enforcement thereof (including banking, insurance and securities); judicial judgments and legal proceedings; RBC’s ability to integrate RBTT with RBC successfully; reputational risks, and other factors that may affect future results of RBC and RBTT, including changes in trade policies, timely development and introduction of new products and services, changes in tax laws, and technological and regulatory changes. We caution that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. Additional information about these and other factors can be found in our Q2 2008 Report to Shareholders and in our 2007 Annual Report to Shareholders.
Except as required by law, Royal Bank of Canada and RBTT assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.
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