SinoPac Holdings Co (
"Our chairman has often said that scale is very important," said Lee Mei-ling (
The bid was earlier reported by a local newspaper.
Domestic lenders are seeking merger and acquisition targets as the government pushes for consolidation in the industry. More than 50 banks and 300 community credit associations are competing for business in the country.
"The takeover can boost sales channels and assets for potential buyers, especially Far Eastern International Bank (遠東銀行), which is the smallest among the four, when the Taiwan bank sector is consolidating," said Rayson Heung, a banking analyst at HSBC Securities Asia Ltd in Taiwan.
Grand Commercial, which is about 35 percent-controlled by Uni-President Group (
Grand Commercial, which has a total of 44 branches nationwide, is an attractive investment because of its network of automated teller machines in 7-Eleven shops, run by affiliate President Chain Store Corp (
The bank plans to increase the number of machines to 1,250, more than double from the existing 559, said Lin.
Grand Commercial, in talks with foreign buyers such as ABN Amro Holding NV as early as 2001, has halted those discussions, said Lin. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc had helped to coordinate the talks.
SinoPac is competing with Chinatrust Financial Holding Co (
"Chinatrust is interested in local banking merger and acquisition opportunities as we believe we can bring more value to the seller and our shareholders given we are the most profitable bank in past two to three years," said Chinatrust spokesman Ling Shiaw-pin (林孝平), who declined to elaborate.
Far Eastern spokesman Julius Chen (陳國聯) said he did not know whether the bank was involved in the sale of Grand Commercial Bank, yet the bank's direction is "to look for merger and acquisition targets to build up our size and scope."
Taishin spokeswoman Carol Lai (