Tan in-law backs out from US bank deal

Tan in-law backs out from US bank deal

ALLIED BANK on Thursday announced that its planned merger with Philippine National Bank, both controlled by taipan Lucio Tan, had been put on hold after the buyer of an Allied Bank subsidiary in the United States backed out.

The buyer happens to be related by affinity to the Tan family, John K.C. Ng, whose daughter, Angie, is married to Michael Tan, a son of the taipan.

Allied Bank said Ng withdrew his offer to buy the 27.78 percent share of Allied Bank in Oceanic Bank, which has two branches in San Francisco and one in Guam.

"Mr. Ng would rather pursue other business opportunities instead of waiting for approval from the US regulators," Allied Bank said.

Ng, whose family owns Cathay Land, has yet to obtain approval from the US Federal Reserve to acquire voting shares of Oceanic Holding, which is based in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, and thereby indirectly acquire the voting shares of Oceanic Bank Holdings Inc. and Oceanic Bank of San Francisco.

Allied Bank needed to sell its equity in Oceanic Bank to secure approval of the merger with PNB.

The divestment of Allied Bank from Oceanic Bank was needed for the merger between Allied Bank and PNB, since US banking regulations on the entry of new foreign banks would be applied to PNB when it assumes ownership of Oceanic Bank by virtue of its merger with Allied Bank.

Allied Bank said it was now looking at other options "together with its US legal counsels and in consultation with the US regulators."

"The merger with PNB will still be pursued and the integration will continue with a view to improving revenue opportunities and operational efficiencies for both banks," Allied Bank said.

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