Citibank announced on June 7, 2000 that it had entered into an agreement with Canada Trust to acquire Canada Trust’s $1.8 billion MasterCard portfolio. The portfolio was put up for sale to satisfy Competition Bureau concerns arising out of the Toronto-Dominion Bank acquisition of Canada Trust earlier this year. Credit card rules in Canada preclude a single financial institution from issuing both Visa and MasterCard products. Citibank Canada has announced its intention to convert its existing Visa portfolio to MasterCard in the coming months.
Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP represented Citibank under the direction of Charles Alexander, Citibank Canada’s general counsel. The Blakes team consisted of John Teolis, Gregory Frenette, Anna MacMillan, Glenn Leslie, Kathryn Bush, Paul Tamaki and Allan Gelkopf. Canada Trust called on McCarthy Tétrault to advise them on the corporate and commercial aspects of the transaction. The McCarthys team included Stephen Clark, Andrew Armstrong, Gregory Winfield and Brian Pel. R. Jay Holsten of Torys provided competition law advice to Canada Trust and the Toronto-Dominion Bank.
MasterCard Canada and MasterCard International was represented by James Musgrove and Dan Edmondstone of Lang Michener with respect to the competition law issues surrounding the potential conversion of the Canada Trust MasterCard portfolio to Visa upon acquisition by Toronto-Dominion Bank, and the sale of the portfolio to Citibank Canada.