National Bank Acquires Altamira

Montreal, 11 June 2002 - 

National Bank of Canada today announced the acquisition of the mutual fund manager and distributor Altamira.

The acquisition of this leading brand name will significantly expand the National Bank's presence outside Quebec in the area of wealth management, double its mutual funds under management to $10.4 billion, broaden its offering of products and services, and increase profitability. The purchase price will be between $277.1 million and $314.1 million for all classes of shares based on assets under management at closing. A portion of the purchase price may be paid in common shares up to a maximum of three million shares. In addition, the Bank will assume Altamira's debt of $195.9 million.

The value of the transaction represents approximately 9.5% of Altamira's risk-weighted assets under management. The Altamira acquisition will have no impact on the Bank's financial results in fiscal 2002 and should add $0.04 to earnings per share in 2003 and around $0.10 in 2004, when the transition is complete and synergies take full effect.

The transaction was approved this morning by the Bank's Board of Directors. It is expected to close on or about August 12, 2002 or earlier, provided all closing conditions are met, including approval from regulatory authorities.

Significant Brand Recognition and Presence in Ontario

Altamira manages approximately $6 billion in assets, including $5 billion in mutual funds for individual investors. The company employs 300 people, including 115 advisors, at its six branch offices and three call centres in Canada. Altamira, which has approximately 137,000 direct clients as well as 103,000 clients through a network of intermediaries, distributes and manages 47 of its own mutual funds, making it the second largest direct independent supplier of no-load mutual funds in the country. More than half of the company's mutual fund assets come from clients in Ontario and 15% from clients in Quebec. Altamira also manages assets totalling approximately $1 billion for institutional clients.

Réal Raymond, President and CEO of National Bank of Canada, pointed out that the transaction fits in perfectly with the Bank's strategy of strengthening its leadership position in wealth management and of expanding its activities outside Quebec by recruiting advisors, adding new client bases and making targeted acquisitions.

"Our strategy is to increase our share of the wealth management market outside Quebec over the next three years. The Altamira acquisition represents a major step in that direction," Mr. Raymond said. "In addition, this transaction represents an excellent opportunity to participate in industry consolidation, where fewer and fewer opportunities of this size exist, and to achieve the necessary critical mass for further expansion."

Synergies

The transaction will generate additional revenues by offering National Bank products to Altamira clients and vice versa.

"The acquisition of First Marathon in 1999 was a great success, allowing the National Bank to penetrate a new market and gain access to new clients. This latest acquisition will contribute to our growth and profitability in much the same way," Mr. Raymond stated, emphasizing that the marriage of the National Bank and Altamira represented an excellent union between two institutions that share a vision of excellence in customer service.

"National Bank of Canada and Altamira have complementary investment management styles: the National Bank, through its highly respected Natcan Investment Management subsidiary, is focused on value while Altamira puts emphasis on growth. These complementary approaches and the combined resources of the two companies should result in a broader diversification of products and clientele as well as improved performance in the funds and services offered," Mr. Raymond added.

Gordon Cheesbrough, President and CEO of Altamira, stated: "Today's announcement gives Altamira the strong foundation and resources to grow its capabilities in conjunction with National Bank. With the Bank behind us, we will be able to offer our clients a wider range of financial solutions, as well as more distribution channels through which to access our products and services."

Michel Tremblay, National Bank Senior Vice-President, Personal Banking and Wealth Management, will become Chairman of the Board of Altamira. He pointed out that "Altamira is one of the great names in wealth management. They pioneered the no-load mutual fund business in Canada, and have built a reputation for customer service and investment expertise that is second to none. We are very proud to welcome a team of this calibre into the National Bank family."

Mr. Tremblay underscored the National Bank's commitment to providing Altamira clients with the services that have made the company's reputation, while gradually giving them access to a broader range of products and services. "This change in ownership will in no way diminish the relationship that Altamira already enjoys with its clients – it may even improve it," Mr. Tremblay added.

National Bank of Canada is an integrated group which provides comprehensive financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations in its core market, while offering specialized services to its clients elsewhere in the world. The National Bank offers a full array of banking services, including retail, corporate and investment banking. It is an active player on international capital markets and, through its subsidiaries, is involved in securities brokerage, insurance and wealth management as well as mutual fund and retirement plan management. The National Bank has assets of over $75 billion and, together with its subsidiaries, employs over 17,000 people. The Bank's securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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INVITATION TO INVESTORS

Conference call

  • An analyst conference call will take place today, June 11, 2002 at 11:00 a.m. EDT.
  • Access via telephone #: 416-695-5806 / 1-800-273-9672.
  • Retail investors and media can join the conference call in a listen-only mode.
  • A live Internet broadcast of the conference call will also be accessible via the Internet at www.nbc.ca/investorrelations.
  • Further information on the broadcast as well as the presentation material to be referenced during the call will be posted on National Bank's website prior to the beginning of the conference call.

Rebroadcast of conference call

  • The archived conference call recording will be available to investors, until June 18, 2002 by dialing the following number: 416-695-5800 or 1-800-408-3053 and entering the passcode 1186482.
  • An archived version of the webcast will also be available after the call ends on the Bank's website at www.nbc.ca/investorrelations.

MEDIA INVITATION

Members of the press are invited to a press conference where Mr. Réal Raymond, President and CEO of the National Bank of Canada, and Mr. Gordon Cheesbrough, President and CEO of Altamira, will discuss the acquisition of Altamira by the National Bank of Canada.


NOTEBOOK:

What: Press Conference about Altamira Acquisition
Who:

Mr. Réal Raymond, President and CEO, National Bank of Canada
Mr. Gordon Cheesbrough, President and CEO, Altamira
When: Tuesday, June 11, 2002, at 2:00 pm
Where:



National Bank of Canada Tower
600 rue de la Gauchetière
Fourth Floor
Montreal


For more information (the telephone numbers and e-mail addresses are for the exclusive use of journalists and other media representatives ) :

Natinonal Bank of Canada
Denis Dubé
Manager
Public Relations Department
Tel.: (514) 394-8644
E-mail: denis.dube@bnc.ca
Altamira
Dwarka Lakhan
Director of Communications
Tel.: (416) 507-7313
E-mail: dlakhan@altamira.com