Lucio Co inks P6-B deal to buy PBCOM stake

Posted at 08/05/2014 6:04 PM
From left to right, PBCOM Chairman Eric O. Recto, P.G. Holdings, Inc. Chairman & President Lucio L. Co, PBCOM President & CEO Nina D. Aguas, and Puregold Price Club, Inc. President Leonardo B. Dayao.

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCOM) signed a subscription agreement with businessman Lucio L. Co's P.G. Holdings, Inc. for the subscription of 181 million of the bank's common shares.

Last week, PBCOM's board of directors accepted Co's offer to subscribe to the shares at a price of P33 per share or a total of P5.9 billion.

The share subscription is still subject to approval by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). It will increase the PBCOM's issued shares to 480,645,164 and give P.G. Holdings, Inc. a 37.7 percent stake in PBCOM.

"We view this as a strategic partnership, as there are many synergies between Mr. Co’s portfolio of businesses and PBCOM. Their retail network more than complements and multiplies our expansion efforts, and their focus on the small business segment is very much aligned with our thrust to grow SME Banking," PBCOM President & CEO Nina D. Aguas said in a statement.

In an earlier disclosure, PBCOM had identified Co's delegated entity as Union Equities, which would be subscribing to the shares.

PBCOM, with a current market value of around $440 million, recently expanded its network to 72 branches, with new locations in Baguio, Bonifacio Global City, Cabanatuan, Calamba, Cauayan Isabela, Cebu, Dumaguete and Sta. Rosa.

The bank has already signed agreements to acquire two rural banks: Rural Bank of Nagcarlan and Banco Dipolog, Inc, which have a combined branch network of 19 locations.