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BMO Financial Group Announces Agreement to Purchase Merchants and Manufacturers in Wisconsin


BMO Financial Group (TSX, NYSE: BMO) today announced a definitive agreement to purchase Merchants and Manufacturers Bancorporation, Inc., (OTC: MMBI), a Wisconsin bank holding company headquartered near Milwaukee, for approximately US$137.2 million in cash, expanding the Harris franchise into a third U.S. Midwestern state.

Merchants and Manufacturers is a multi-bank holding company with six bank subsidiaries operating 34 full-service and 11 limited-service locations in an area concentrated in Milwaukee, and extending into Green Bay to the north and LaCrosse to the west. Merchants and Manufacturers’ banks have a combined US$1.5 billion in assets and US$1.2 billion in deposits, holding more than half of their deposits in the Milwaukee area.

“Merchants and Manufacturers’ presence throughout much of Wisconsin gives us an attractive entry into this new market,” said Ellen Costello, Chief Executive Officer, Harris. “We believe customers will appreciate that we share Merchants and Manufacturers’ community focus and commitment to exceptional service.”

“In particular, Merchants and Manufacturers’ emphasis on serving small and mid-market commercial customers complements our recent addition of our Business Banking services in the greater Milwaukee area,” Ms. Costello added.

The acquisition is anticipated to close in late 2007, subject to approvals from Merchants and Manufacturers shareholders, as well as U.S. and Canadian regulators. BMO has agreed to pay approximately US$137.2 million, or US$37.30 per share of Merchants and Manufacturers common stock.

“Two critical issues were important to our board in making this decision. First, provide a premium to our shareholders to the current market price, in turn providing them with liquidity, and second, enhance the competitive position of the banks,” said Michael J. Murry, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Merchants and Manufacturers. “With Harris, we accomplish both.”


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