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(Charla Jones)
(Charla Jones)

National Bank, Wellington grind closer to a deal Add to ...

National Bank of Canada's talks to acquire Wellington West Financial are grinding closer to a deal, with the focus now on retention of key people at Wellington West's thriving capital markets business.

Talks, first reported in the Globe and Mail three weeks ago, are still underway, said two people familiar with the situation. The deal is still not a sure thing, but negotiations are now even more advanced.

It appears that National Bank is now set on buying not just Wellington's retail brokerage business to add to the National Bank wealth-management side, but also wants to purchase the Wellington West capital markets side. That could boost the price beyond the $350-million valuation that was talked about a few weeks ago.

There had been an expectation that the employees of the Wellington capital markets division could potentially buy the business, but that talk seems to have gone dormant in recent weeks, said one source.

Instead, National Bank now is working to lock up the capital markets employees that it wants to keep, a process that could be done by the middle of next week, that person said.

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