Ongpin group completes PBCom takeover

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Ongpin-led ISM Communications and three families that used to own PBCom crossed P4.7-billion-worth shares at the exchange

MANILA, Philippines – The group of former trade secretary Roberto V. Ongpin has completed its takeover of mid-size Philippine Bank of Communications.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011, Ongpin-led ISM Communications said it has crossed shares, priced at P27.88 each, at the exchange “this morning.”

ISM now has a controlling stake of the bank after it acquired 47,094,807 common and 120 million preferred shares from the Chung, Luy and Nubla groups for approximately P4.7 billion.

ISM won the bidding mid-year, after the three families decided to sell to a strategic investor.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has approved the Ongpin group’s entry into the bank while the Securities and Exchange Commission has agreed to waive the mandatory tender offer requirement for buyers of controlling stake in a publicly listed company.

In July, Ongpin was elected bank chairman, while Eric Recto, his nephew and president of Petron and ISM, was elected vice chairman.

Reynaldo David, former president of state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines, was also elected as PBCom director but recently resigned as the Senate continues to pursue investigations on after loan, stock, and bond transactions between DBP and the Ongpin group.

PBCom has 64 branches and a niche middle-market Chinese clientele base. It has an asset of P43.8 billion at end-2010 and ranked 22nd among the 38 commercial banks in the country. –

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