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A man walks next to a Bank of America branch in New York in this Oct. 24, 2012, file photo.
A man walks next to a Bank of America branch in New York in this Oct. 24, 2012, file photo.
(EDUARDO MUNOZ/REUTERS)

For the bankers in the grocery wars, solo lending is key

The two banks that are making the big money in Canada’s suddenly hyper-acquisitive grocery sector have one thing in common: the ability to make a huge lending commitment all on their own.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, working with Loblaw Cos. Ltd. on its purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart Corp. for $12.4-billion, took on a $5.1-billion commitment. BAML set up a $3.5-billion term loan and a $1.6-billion bridge loan that will be taken out through bond sales.