LANDBANK hopes to close PDS takeover by yearend

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THE Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) said it is targeting to complete the acquisition of a majority stake in Philippine Dealing System Holdings, Corp. (PDSHC) by the end of the year.

Cecilia C. Borromeo, president and chief executive office of LANDBANK, said the state-owned lender is still interested in taking control of the fixed-income bourse operator.

“We are in talks with the regulator and with the stakeholders who have expressed their interest to sell to us. Our best estimate is we are trying to target this year to be able to close the deal,” Carel D. Halog, executive vice president for treasury and investment banking sector of LANDBANK, said during a briefing on Thursday.

LANDBANK sought to take over the fixed-income exchange after the continued delays in the planned merger of Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) and PDSHC that began in 2013.

“There will be sub-synergy with government so that aside from providing us good revenue stream and another diversified source of revenue stream, we expect to be able to help in further developing the capital markets,” Mr. Carel said.

Earlier this year, LANDBANK had offered to buy the PSE’s shares in PDSHC for nearly P282 million.

The proposed acquisition placed the value of the PDSHC shares at P215 each or for a total of P281,959,385 “subject to terms and conditions.”

This is 40% lower than the P360 per share offer (or a total of P472.11 million) that was initially approved by the LANDBANK board in January 2018.

PDSHC comprises the PDS Group along with subsidiaries Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp., Philippine Depository & Trust Corp., Philippine Securities Settlement Corp., and PDS Academy for Market Development Corp.

Based on the shareholder structure found in its website, the firm is 21% owned by the PSE. — V.M.P.Galang