Toronto-based BMO Financial Group today announced it is acquiring the Diners Club North America franchise from Citigroup.

The deal will more than double BMO's corporate card business, bringing in net receivables of nearly $1 billion and $7.8 billion in card transactions, the bank said. BMO President and CEO Frank Techar said in a statement that the deal will make BMO one of the top commercial card issuers in North America.

"We've consistently said that we will seize good opportunities that arise, accelerate growth in our business and improve customer loyalty," he said. "The Diners Club North America franchise brings new cardmembers to our company, provides attractive additional options for our existing customers and makes us an even more compelling choice in the market for prospective commercial customers in Canada and the United States."

BMO and Citi did not disclose the price of the deal, which they expect to close before March 21, 2010.

Citi said in a statement that the deal is not expected to have a material impact on its net income or capital ratios.

 "The sale of this business is consistent with Citi's strategy to optimize the assets and businesses within Citi Holdings while working to generate long-term profitability and growth from Citicorp, which comprises its core franchise." Citi said.

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