Robinsons Retail buys minority stake in BPI

By BusinessMirror
January 9, 2023


ROBINSONS Retail Holdings Inc. of the Gokongwei group is set to purchase a minority stake in Bank of the Philippine Islands.

The company said its board has approved the acquisition of the 4.4-percent effective equity interest of Arran Investment Pte. Ltd., an affiliate of GIC Private Ltd., in BPI.

Through redeemable preferred shares Arran currently owns 21.9 percent of Liontide Holdings Inc., which in turn has a 20-percent equity interest in BPI.

Robinsons Retail will eventually own 6.8 percent in BPI, as the firm already has a 2.4-percent stake after the lender approved a merger with Robinsons Bank last year.

“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,” Robinsons Retail President and CEO Robina Gokongwei-Pe said.

Robinsons Retail will be able to tap into the consumer customer base of BPI to cross-sell products and services. In turn, this would provide Robinsons Retail suppliers the capability to tap into BPI’s financial products to fund working capital requirements for business expansion.

Robinsons Retail will also receive a steady stream of dividends from the country’s third-largest lender in terms of assets.

As part of the transaction, Arran will redeem a portion of its preferred shares in Liontide. The underlying BPI shares, representing 3.3-percent equity 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.

Credit Suisse served as the adviser to GIC in the deal.

Last September 30, the respective boards of directors of BPI, JG Summit Capital Services Corp., and Robinsons Retail approved the merger of BPI and Robinsons Bank Corp., with BPI as the surviving entity.

The merger will result in Robinsons Bank shareholders collectively holding 6 percent of the resulting outstanding capital stock of BPI—3.6 percent for JG Capital and 2.4 percent for Robinsons Retail. The ownership represents respective equity interest of 60 percent and 40 percent in Robinsons Bank, respectively.