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Julius Baer to buy Merrill Lynch’s IWM business

The transaction, worth 860m Swiss francs, adds substantial scale to Julius Baer’s European business.

The Swiss private banking group Julius Baer has agreed to buy Merrill Lynch’s International Wealth Management business (IWM) based outside the US and Japan from Bank of America (BofA) for approximately 860m Swiss francs.

Business transfers and full integration are expected to occur over a two-year period thereafter and to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2014 or the first quarter of 2015.

Total transaction, restructuring, integration and retention costs in connection with the transfer of the business are expected to amount to up to 400m Swiss francs. As part of the integration, the acquired legal entities will operate under the Julius Baer brand.

Boris Collardi, CEO of the Julius Baer Group, said:

This acquisition brings us a major step forward in our growth strategy and will considerably strengthen Julius Baer’s leading position in global private banking by adding a new dimension not only to growth markets but also to Europe.

The compatibility and complementarity of the two business models, once integrated, will create a new reference in private banking and a powerful offering for all clients of the combined businesses. In addition, it will reinforce Julius Baer’s attractiveness as an employer of choice in the private banking industry. We very much look forward to working with our new colleagues who will undoubtedly enrich our corporate culture.

The sale is expected to close by the end of 2012 or in early 2013, subject to regulatory approvals. Perella Weinberg Partners acted as exclusive financial adviser to Julius Baer Group in this transaction.