On June 28, 2000 Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal announced they were combining their respective payment card acquiring businesses in a new company which they will own equally. The combination will be a top tier North American player in the merchant services business providing merchants, retailers and e-tailers with one stop card-based transaction processing including credit card, debit card and stored value payments.
The banks retained Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP’s Toronto office to structure, establish and represent the joint venture company, obtain regulatory approvals and put together a number of related services and technology agreements. The banks are relying upon their own legal departments to address their respective interests and obtaining assistance on the US aspects of the transaction from Chapman and Cutler in Chicago (BMO and its subsidiary Harris Bank) and Sullivan & Cromwell in New York (Royal). The legal team for Royal is led by Sarah Azzarello, Senior Vice-President, Securities Counsel, with Tony Fratianni, Legal Counsel, managing the file and Stephen Monty, Senior Counsel also participating. Chris Bradley, Senior Counsel is handling the matter for BMO. The Osler’s team is led by John Kazanjian with Monica Biringer and Sean Aylward (tax), Michelle Lally and Steve Sansom (competition), Heather McKean, Eden Oliver, Gregory Firnau and Gina Caldarelli (corporate/commercial), Dan Logan and Daniel Shap (technology).