Meridian Completes Merger With Desjardins Credit Union

On June 1, 2011, Meridian Credit Union Limited (“Meridian”) completed its merger with Desjardins Credit Union Inc. (“DCU”) to reinforce its position as the largest credit union in Ontario and a leader in the cooperative movement in Canada. The merger creates a credit union powerhouse in Ontario with 263,000 members and $8 billion in assets under management. The merger adds 19 additional branches to Meridian's network of 44 neighbourhood branches and eight commercial business centres, which provide a wide array of financial services. The transaction was announced on March 1, 2011, and received all regulatory approvals as well as approval from the members of both Meridian and DCU.

Prior to the merger, DCU was the third largest credit union in Ontario and was formed through the acquisition and conversion of the Province of Ontario Savings Office into an independent credit union. DCU operated with the sponsorship, long-term investment and other support of the Desjardins Financial Group, the largest cooperative in Canada.

The merger transaction involved an exchange of membership shares of DCU for shares of Meridian and the purchase of preferred shares from Fédération des caisses Desjardins du Québec (FCDQ) by Meridian. Desjardins Financial Group and its affiliates will continue to provide transitional services to Meridian until all the services currently provided by DCU are switched over to Meridian's network.

As part of the transaction, the six locations consisting of branches or agencies operated by DCU in northern Ontario were sold, through the support of and certain guarantees provided by Fédération des caisses populaires de l'Ontario Inc. (FCPO), in an asset sale to Caisse Populaire des Voyageurs Inc. (Voyageurs) prior to the merger.

Meridian was represented by a team that included Christian Gauthier, Faran Umar-Khitab and Jens Wenzel (corporate); Jean-Pierre Laporte (pensions); Adam Kalbfleisch (competition) and Tom Bauer (tax) of Bennett Jones LLP and Geoffrey Cauchi and Penny-Lynn Rintoul of RZCD Law Firm LLP provided regulatory advice.

Desjardins Credit Union was represented by Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP with a team that included Robert McDowell, Koker Christensen and Marvin Mikhail (M&A and regulatory); Kathleen Hanly (tax); Paul Casuccio (commodity tax); Ralph Nero (employment); Peggy McCallum (pensions); Paul King (real property); Douglas New (Competition Act); Daniel Brock (government relations); Andrew Alleyne (technology); Daniel Fabiano (privacy) and Juho Song (corporate).

FCDQ and the Desjardins Financial Group were represented by an in-house team led by Alexandre Ciocilteu, Senior Legal Counsel, Desjardins Group Corporate Executive Division.

FCPO and Voyageurs were represented by Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP by a team consisting of Yvon Martineau, Alfred Buggé, Dawn Jetten and Jake Gilbert.


Faran Umar-Khitab Paul V. Casuccio Yvon Martineau Adam Kalbfleisch Ralph N. Nero Andrew C. Alleyne Kathleen S.M. Hanly Paul R. King Daniel Fabiano Geoffrey F. Cauchi Daniel L. Brock Jean-Pierre A. Laporte Marvin Mikhail Thomas A. Bauer Jake Gilbert Peggy A. McCallum Juho Song Christian P. Gauthier Robert W. McDowell Koker Christensen