Ayala hopes to finalize PNB deal before 2012 ends

Ayala Corp says they are reviewing the terms and conditions of a planned merger between unit BPI and Lucio Tan's PNB

MANILA, Philippines – Ayala Corp., the country’s oldest conglomerate, hopes to finalize within the year a deal with the Lucio Tan group to create the country’s top lender.

Ayala CFO Delfin Gonzalez said banking unit Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), and Lucio Tan-owned Philippine National Bank (PNB) are reviewing the terms and conditions of a planned merger.

BPI and PNB recently confirmed they are in talks for a transaction that banking sources said will involve a share swap, giving the two parties stakes in each other.

“We will disclose [the terms] when there’s already a signed agreement,” said Gonzalez at the sidelines of the listing of Ayala’s P10-billion bond offer on the Philippine Dealing Exchange.

Asked if he thinks a deal will be sealed before the year ends, Gonzalez replied: “hopefully.”

BPI and PNB said in separate disclosures Friday, November 23, that their boards have taken no action yet on the negotiations. – Rappler.com

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