Despite plummeting M&A activity, BMO closes Clearpool acquisition

By James Langton | April 6, 2020 | Last updated on April 6, 2020
1 min read

While merger and acquisition activity may be disrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak, some deals are ploughing ahead.

Toronto-based BMO Financial Group has sealed its planned acquisition of electronic trading firm Clearpool Group, Inc, which was announced on Jan. 22. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The closing of the BMO-Clearpool deal comes amid an unprecedented market disruption that has hit M&A activity particularly hard. According to research firm Refinitiv, Canadian M&A activity dropped by 57% in the first quarter.

Financial sector deals, such as Toronto-based GMP Capital Inc.’s plan to take full control of wealth management firm Richardson GMP Ltd., have been disrupted by the market turmoil.

GMP and Richardson announced that they had reached a non-binding agreement back on Feb. 26, and planned to put a final deal to a shareholder vote on April 21. However, in mid-March, they announced that a definitive deal wouldn’t be reached by that deadline due to the spike in market volatility.

As for the BMO-Clearpool deal, BMO said that the transaction isn’t expected to have a significant impact on its balance sheet, although the deal will reduce the bank’s common equity capital ratio by approximately 10 basis points.

James Langton headshot

James Langton

James is a senior reporter for and its sister publication, Investment Executive. He has been reporting on regulation, securities law, industry news and more since 1994.