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BDO takes over GE Money Bank

By Doris Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 15:50:00 05/28/2009

Filed Under: Banking, Mergers - Acquisitions - Takeovers, Company Information

MANILA, Philippines--The country?s largest bank Banco de Oro Unibank, owned by shopping mall and retailing magnate Henry Sy, has entered into a deal to gobble up the local banking unit of American conglomerate General Electric Co.

BDO disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday that it signed a definitive agreement to take over GE Money Bank in exchange for GE acquiring a minority stake in BDO.

?As part of the agreement, GE will also make a strategic investment in BDO by acquiring a stake of approximately 1.5 percent with an option to further increase its holdings up to 10 percent,? the disclosure said.

Both transactions are subject to closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and are expected to be completed within the third quarter of 2009.

?We welcome the opportunity to be partners with an institution like General Electric. With GE?s expertise in the financial sector, we hope this partnership will ultimately provide our customers with better consumer products and flexible financing solutions,? BDO chair Teresita Sy-Coson said.

The consolidation of GE Money Bank's business into BDO, including its 30,000 customers, 350 employees and network of 31 branch licenses and 38 ATMs nationwide, is seen enabling BDO to accelerate the growth of its consumer banking business.

In addition, GE is seen bringing considerable value in the form of marketing, risk management and operational expertise.

?We are very pleased to be working with GE and look forward to exploring opportunities for future collaboration,? BDO president Nestor Tan said.

Mark Arnold, CEO of GE Capital Global Banking in Southeast Asia, said: ?BDO?s superior market presence and clear strategy for growth will provide the business with the best opportunities for success. In addition, key customers and depositors will benefit from the best that both banks have to offer, with greater convenience and a wider range of products and services than ever before.?

BDO, with total assets of P801 billion as of the first quarter of 2009, has experienced significant growth over the past five years, primarily through a succession of mergers and acquisitions as well as organic growth. With a network of over 700 branch licenses and more than 1,200 ATMs, BDO has one of the largest distribution networks in the Philippines. In addition, BDO has an offshore branch located in Hong Kong and an overseas network of 21 remittance offices.



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