Ready to capitalize on merger deal: Gokongweis acquire additional 4.4% stake in BPI

Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI) will purchase additional shares in Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands, increasing the Gokongwei Group’s interest in the lender to 10.4 percent.

In a regulatory filing, RRHI, headed by its president Robina Gokongwei-Pe, said its board approved the purchase of Arran Investment Pte. Ltd.’s 4.4 percent stake in BPI.

Arran, an affiliate of GIC Private Ltd., owns owns 21.9 percent of Liontide Holdings, which in turn has a 20 percent equity interest in BPI.

As part of the transaction, Arran will redeem a portion of its preferred shares in Liontide. The underlying BPI shares, representing 3.3 percent interest in BPI, will then be purchased directly by Robinsons Retail.

Simultaneously, Robinsons Retail will acquire preferred shares in Liontide, which are redeemable to BPI shares, representing 1.1 percent of BPI outstanding shares.

The transaction is in conjunction with the merger of BPI and Robinsons Bank with the former as the surviving entity.

Based on the deal announced last September, Robinsons Bank shareholders, JG Summit Holdings and RRHI acquired a combined six percent stake in BPI .

Gokongwei-Pe said the merger would enable RRHI to tap into the extensive consumer customer base of BPI to cross- sell products and services while in turn giving RRHI suppliers the capability to tap into BPI’s vast financial products to help fund their working capital requirements as they expand their business.

RRHI is also expected to receive a steady stream of dividends from one of the largest and most profitable banks in the country.

“We envision Robinsons Retail to become a leading retailer with excellent financial products for customers and suppliers alike – and the partnership with BPI simply accelerates this aspiration. We expect to generate more value by combining BPI’s premium banking ecosystem with the consumer-oriented ecosystem of Robinsons Retail, complemented further by our digital businesses,” said Gokongwei-Pe.

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