Aboitizes buying Isabela-based PR Savings

MANILA, Philippines – Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) is acquiring Isabela-based thrift bank Philippine Resources Savings Bank (PR Savings Bank) to expand its mass market reach.

Union Bank told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, January 2, that its subsidiary City Savings Bank Incorporated signed a share purchase agreement (SPA) with the ROPALI Group of Companies to acquire 100% of the common shares of PR Savings Bank.

The deal involves the acquisition of 127.72 million shares owned by the ROPALI Group, which represents 66.27% of the total outstanding capital stock of PR Savings Bank.

"This acquisition will expand our mass market reach, consistent with our vision to promote inclusive growth in the country," UnionBank's incoming president and chief executive officer Edwin Bautista said in the disclosure. 

The disclosure said ROPALI group chairman and founder Roberto Alingog signed the agreement with CitySavings Bank chairman and UnionBank senior executive vice president Eugene Acevedo. (READ: UnionBank sets out to hack PH banking with digital transformation)

With the deal worth over P1 billion, UnionBank said it is still subject to approval by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

While UnionBank did not disclose the transaction value, it is said that the amount is less than 10% of the Aboitiz-led bank's book value.

About 90% of the value of the transaction would be settled upon closing, while the 10% would be the retention amount, the disclosure read.

PR Savings Bank is a member of the ROPALI Group of Companies, which is a mid-sized conglomerate and a dominant player in the motorcycle and agricultural machinery trade.

It is the 15th largest thrift bank in the Philippines, with assets of P13.2 billion as of end September 2017. It has 102 offices, mainly in Luzon. T

PR Savings Bank is focused on extending loans on motorcycles, agri-machinery, and teachers’ salaries. The thrift bank currently serves over 131,000 borrowers, mostly from the mass-market segment.

Meanwhile, UnionBank is the Philippines' 9th largest bank in terms of assets, of which amounts to P488.05 billion to date.

UnionBank's disclosure read that the deal is seen to present "exciting new opportunities for CitySavings to substantially expand its reach in Luzon, as well as enter new market segments such as motorcycle and agri-machinery financing." – Rappler.com