Bank of Montreal of Toronto, announced today that it has acquired Guardian Group of Funds Ltd. from Guardian Capital Group Limited, also of Toronto.

The deal is valued at $180 million Canadian in treasury shares, according to a Bank of Montreal spokesperson.

Guardian Group of Funds will continue to operate as an independent business. But, as a result of the acquisition, Bank of Montreal will reorganize its mutual fund operations to bring its expanded fund family together under consolidated management, according to the Bank of Montreal.

The acquisition will expand Bank of Montreal’s assets under management to nearly $30 billion Canadian, including the addition of $2 billion Canadian in assets from Guardian Group of Funds, the spokesperson said. Both figures reflect calculations as of March 31.

The move is the result of Bank of Montreal’s efforts to expand its mutual fund offerings through new distribution channels, the bank said. The acquisition is the fifth by Bank of Montreal in less than two years, following the purchase of two U.S. direct brokerages and two private banking operations located in Florida and Arizona.

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