By James A. Loyola
The Aboitiz group of companies has transferred its controlling stake in remittance and cash services firm PETNET, Inc. from Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. to subsidiairies of Union Bank of the Philippines.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the UnionBank said its subsidiaries City Savings Bank, Inc. and Union Properties, Inc., have signed a Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) with AEV to acquire its entire 51 percent of the common shares of transaction network PETNET.
PETNET, more widely-known by its retail brand name PERA HUB, has the largest network of Western Union outlets in the Philippines.
The firm has over 2,800 outlets nationwide which offer a variety of cash-based services including remittance, currency exchange and bills payment.
The transaction is subject to closing conditions and regulatory approval, targeted by the second quarter of 2018.
With this acquisition, CitySavings intends to leverage on PERA HUB’s expansive retail network and expand its existing loans-marketing partnership with PETNET.
This should widen CitySavings’ mass market reach and help achieve its goal of enabling inclusive prosperity. This is in line with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ (BSP) efforts to improve financial inclusion in the country by using non-traditional channels.
This acquisition also gives the UnionBank group a strong platform to do agency banking, in which banks are to employ third-party outlets to perform certain financial services in their behalf.