Canada’s TD Bank Financial Group reported that it will acquire the Mid-Atlantic regional bank Commerce Bancorp Inc. in a 25 percent cash and 75 percent stock deal valued at $8.5 billion.
If approved, the purchase would double TD Bank’s presence in the U.S. by adding nearly 460 Commerce branches on the East Coast. TD Bank Financial Group said it would become the seventh largest bank in North America as measured by branch locations and the first bank with “critical mass” in both Canada and the U.S.
At the same time, Commerce has agreed to negotiate the sale of its $1 billion Commerce Banc Insurance Services, Inc. (CBIS) to George E. Norcross, III, who founded the insurance division and is currently chairman and chief executive officer of CBIS and a director of the Commerce Board. Any sale would be subject to the approval of TD Bank Financial Group.
TD Banknorth operates TD Banknorth Insurance Agency, Inc., which is New England’s largest insurance network with 15 offices in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine and upstate New York. Commerce Banc Insurance Services (CBIS) ranks among the 25 largest insurance agencies in the nation, with $1 billion in premium, more than 130,000 clients and 13 locations.
The operations of Commerce Bank include nearly 460 locations and close to 700 automated teller machines throughout New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland and Southeast Florida.
The bank acquisition is expected to close in March or April 2008 subject to approvals from Commerce shareholders and U.S. and Canadian regulatory authorities.
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