SMC to sell stake in Bank of Commerce

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CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, Malaysia’s second-largest lender, has closed the deal to acquire around 58-percent stake in the banking unit of diversified Philippine Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

“The deal was reached last night [Monday night]. Closing within 30 days or something,” SMC President Ramon Ang told reporters after the company’s stockholders’ meeting held on Tuesday.

He added that the terms will be the same as what has been discussed earlier, involving the P12.2-billion, or $297-million agreement, to sell its majority stake in Bank of Commerce to CIMB.

In the previous month, it was reported that SMC was at the “last stage” of discussions regarding its proposed sale of interest in Bank of Commerce to the CIMB Group.
San Miguel Properties Inc. (SMPI) earlier announced that it would divest from Bank of Commerce.

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SMPI, which used to be listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange, then said through a corporate disclosure that its board has authorized the sale of its 31-percent interest in the bank to “various interested buyers,” pending regulatory approvals.

Two years after, CIMB agreed to buy almost 60-percent stake in the Manila-based bank from San Miguel and other shareholders, in order to expand its footprint in Southeast Asia.

According to a report, the CIMB deal with SMC got delayed, because the Kuala Lumpur-based bank lacked the legal capacity to absorb Bank of Commerce’s property operations.

Madelaine B. Miraflor

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