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BMO Financial Group Announces Intent to Purchase Villa Park Trust and Savings Bank Acquisition Further Expands Harris’ Community Banking Network in the Growing Western Chicago Suburbs  

BMO Financial Group (TSX, NYSE: BMO), and its U.S.-based subsidiary, Harris, today announced a definitive agreement to purchase Edville Bankcorp and its subsidiary, Villa Park Trust and Savings (Villa Park Bank).

Founded in 1922 and headquartered in Villa Park, Illinois, Villa Park Bank is a privately held community bank with US $288 million in assets and US $263 million in deposits as of March 31, 2005. Villa Park Bank has two locations in the growing DuPage County region, which is located approximately 30 kilometers outside of downtown Chicago.

The purchase price is CDN $80.6 million (US $65.5 million). The impact of the transaction on BMO cash earnings per share will be neutral in year one and accretive in year two, excluding one-time costs.

In making the announcement, BMO President and CEO, Tony Comper, stated, “We are continuing with our strategy of pursuing opportunities within Chicagoland and in the neighbouring states that are a good fit for our business.”

“Villa Park Bank is a well-regarded community bank with two desirable locations in DuPage County that nicely complement our existing expansion plans in the Chicagoland area,” said Frank Techar, President and CEO, Harris Bankcorp, Inc. “We look forward to welcoming new customers and employees and extending the convenience and wider range of Harris products and services to customers in these communities.”

The deal is expected to close in the fall of 2005, subject to receipt of regulatory approval. This will increase Harris’ branch network to 173 locations in the Chicagoland area and 19 branches in Northwest Indiana. Harris’ also has more than 500 automated banking machines (ABM) in the region. With additional new branches planned for this year, Harris is on track to grow to 200 locations throughout the Chicagoland area (excluding Northwest Indiana) over the next few years.

“We are proud to be joining an organization that is committed to being the leading Midwest personal and business bank by staying focused on customers,” said William Stege, Chairman, Villa Park Bank. “Harris’ strong focus on community banking, local knowledge and service will serve customers in our communities well.”

Harris™ is an integrated financial service organization that provides more than 1.5 million personal, business, corporate and institutional clients with banking, lending, investing, financial planning, trust administration, portfolio management, family office and wealth transfer services. Harris is a member of BMO Financial Group (NYSE, TSX: BMO). For more information, please visit or

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