UPDATE 3-TD Bank, gearing up U.S. expansion, to buy Epoch

Thu Dec 6, 2012 5:23pm EST
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* Toronto Dominion to buy asset manager Epoch for $668 mln

* TD CEO Clark opens door to larger takeovers

* Clark sees tough 2013, bank reiterates profit targets

* Q4 profit flat at C$1.6 billion, meets estimates

* Epoch shares rise 26.4 pct, TD shares fall 1.8 pct

By Cameron French

TORONTO, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Toronto-Dominion Bank is ramping up its expansion in the United States, announcing on Thursday its second deal in two months with plans to acquire Epoch Investments, while TD's CEO said it would consider doing larger deals than in the past.

TD announced the $668 million agreement to buy the U.S. asset manager as it released fiscal fourth-quarter results that disappointed investors. In particular, its Canadian retail banking results came in softer than expected as the housing market cooled and Canadians scaled back on borrowing.

The $28-a-share offer for Epoch Holding Corp sent shares of the target up 26.4 percent to just shy of the offer price.   Continued...