Accruit Purchases North Star Deferred Exchange Company From BMO Financial Corporation

DENVER (Sept. 6, 2011) -- Accruit, LLC, the nation’s leading Qualified Intermediary (QI) for Section 1031 Program Like-Kind Exchanges (LKE), has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire North Star Deferred Exchange Corp, located in Chicago, Illinois, from BMO Financial Corporation. North Star Trust Company and its affiliates will remain a part of BMO Financial Corporation. North Star Deferred Exchange and North Star Trust Company are not related to Northstar Trade Finance, Inc., another company in which BMO Financial Group maintains an interest.

Since 1997, North Star Deferred Exchange Corp (NSDE) has been a national provider of QI and Exchange Accommodation Titleholder (EAT) services for complex exchanges of both real and personal property, specializing in reverse, build-to-suit and improvement exchanges.

Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code enables property owners to defer taxable gain on the disposition of assets if those assets are replaced with like-kind assets. Accruit’s patented Like-Kind Exchange (LKE) process has been employed by companies in over 20 different industries to turn billions of dollars of tax liability into retained cash flow for the acquisition of new assets. Accruit’s platform allows all transaction phases to be managed electronically, delivering valuable tools to clients, advisors and administrators of portfolios.

Leveraging the technology and experience of both companies provides the exchange industry with one of the broadest service offerings available. Accruit and NSDE have demonstrated proficiency in exchanges of real estate, automobile and truck fleets, construction, aggregate and agricultural equipment, railcars, aircraft and portfolios of leased equipment, as well as more unusual transactions involving such things as rare art and other collectibles, classic Indy 500 race cars, race horses, cranberry bogs and highway billboards.

Martin Edwards, President of NSDE, described joining Accruit as “an exciting opportunity to combine the existing strengths and expertise of both companies and harness the innovative spirit shared by Accruit and NSDE as we expand our service capabilities.” Edwards will continue to serve as President of NSDE. He will also become Vice President and General Counsel of Accruit and a part of the management team upon closing.

The combined entities offer continuity for existing LKE Program customers of both companies and expanded capabilities for new ones. Brent Abrahm, President and CEO of Accruit, stated: “In addition to the many clear benefits of this acquisition, NSDE’s significant niche in the LKE Program area bolsters the strong and unique Joint Business Relationship Accruit enjoys with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), where our complementary services provide a comprehensive solution for program exchanges in the LKE industry. Marty’s reputation in the marketplace, along with his 25 year history of facilitating forward and reverse exchanges makes this acquisition a strategic step in expanding Accruit’s current offerings in the arena of real property exchanges.”

As part of the management change at Accruit, Abrahm also announced that the task of identifying funding sources and acquisition candidates has largely been accomplished at this time and that Accruit’s CFO, Juan Perez, who had been spearheading those efforts, will be leaving Accruit. “We respect and appreciate what Juan has helped us accomplish, and know he will be a valuable asset to his next company.”

NSDE’s Independent Director/Independent Manager Services, which facilitate lender required, bankruptcy-remote LLC structures, will also be continued and expanded under Accruit’s ownership.

BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization which provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.

The parties anticipate a closing in September 2011.