June 23, 2011 / 5:07 AM / 8 years ago

Manila's PBCom says Ongpin's ISM to take over bank

MANILA, June 23 (Reuters) - Shareholders of Philippine Bank of Communications (PBCom) have accepted a takeover bid from telecommunications firm ISM Communications Corp’s , the bank, which has a market value of about 3.5 billion pesos ($81 million), said on Thursday.

ISM Communications, owned by businessman Roberto Ongpin who has close business ties with San Miguel Corp President Ramon Ang, would be a “major strategic third-party investor” in the bank that has 64 branches nationwide, PBCom said in a statement.

The value of the takeover bid was not disclosed.

Top Frontier Investments, a holding firm part owned by Ongpin, is the single largest shareholder in San Miguel Corp , which in turn owns a stake in Top Frontier.

Ongpin sits on the board of Petron Corp , even after his group sold its shares in the country’s top oil refiner to San Miguel. He also owns unlisted property developer Alphaland Corp and miner Atok-Big Wedge Co Inc .

ISM bested Banco de Oro Unibank , owned by the country’s richest person, mall tycoon Henry Sy, which had also bid for PBCom.

Shares of ISM jumped as much 8.7 percent to a two-week high before paring its gains to end 2.6 percent higher.

PBCom climbed 5 percent before erasing its gains to end 0.7 percent lower in a broader market that was flat.

Forbes Asia said on Thursday that Ongpin’s fortunes soared more than four-fold to $1.3 billion in 2010, making him the ninth-richest Filipino.

PBCom’s secured a 7.6 billion peso financing in 2004 from the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp (PDIC) following liquidity problems. Under an agreement with the PDIC, the bank’s major shareholders were to sell a 67 percent stake as one block.

Macquarie Capital was adviser to PBCom on the sale.

$1=43.400 Philippine Pesos Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco

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