THE Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCOM) has agreed to buy out a rural bank with more than 10 branches across the Visayas and Mindanao regions, a move that should support the listed bank’s expansion in rural areas.
Formerly led by tycoon Roberto Ongpin, PBCOM said it already signed on Monday a deal with the controlling stockholders of Banco Dipolog Inc. (BDI) for the purchase and acquisition of no less than 90 percent of the outstanding common stock of BDI.
Founded in 1957, BDI was the first bank to open in Dipolog. BDI currently has 11 branches and seven other banking offices located in Mindanao and the Visayas.
BDI caters primarily to small entrepreneurs, educators, farmers and government employees.
The rural bank is set to open two more branches in the region by July 2014.
“The controlling stockholders of BDI believe that this acquisition by PBCOM will bring the most benefits to its clients, employees, other stakeholders, and the community it presently serves,” PBCOM said.
PBCOM pointed out that the acquisition of BDI is in line with its plan to expand its market reach and engage in countryside and SME lending.
“PBCOM’s investment in BDI will allow PBCOM to strengthen its presence in Mindanao, while bringing BDI’s client base an expanded suite of products and services that PBCOM offers as a commercial bank,” the bank added.
The other shareholders of BDI have the option to sell their shares to PBCOM within 75 days from April 25, 2014.
The acquisition is still subject to the approval of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
In March this year, PBCom also acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of the Rural Bank of Nagcarlan Inc.
Rural Bank of Nagcarian Inc. is a Laguna-based rural bank that currently owns six branches.