Rakuten waives non-compete clause with IBF
By Kao Shih-ching / Journalist
IBF Financial Holdings Co (國 票 金控) said Thursday that its Japanese joint venture partner had agreed to waive a non-compete clause, paving the way for the company’s investment in a commercial bank in Taiwan.
The partner is Japan-based e-commerce company Rakuten Group Inc, which, through its wholly owned subsidiaries Rakuten Bank and Rakuten Card, has established a virtual bank, Rakuten International Commercial Bank Co (樂天 國際 子 銀), in partnership with IBF.
Tokyo-based Rakuten Bank and Rakuten Card hold a combined 51 percent stake in web-only bank, with paid-in capital of NT $ 10 billion, while IBF owns the remaining 49 percent.
Photo: Lee Ching-hui, Taipei Times
IBF did not disclose whether he had or would compensate the Japanese partner for the cancellation of the non-compete agreement, only saying that with the waiver he could continue negotiations with the target company, a- he said in a file on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE).
Speculation has circulated that EnTie Commercial Bank (安泰 銀行) is the target bank, but IBF executive vice president Andrew Chiu (邱 銘 恩) told the Taipei Times by phone that the financial holding company is still evaluating which bank commercial invest and had not reached a final decision.
IBF’s board of directors has been discussing the investment since February, and although most directors agreed that IBF should seek acquisition opportunities, two independent board members – Chen Wei-lung (陳 惟 龍) and Wu Ching-sung (吳青松) – expressed concern that it could weaken the financial strength and stability of IBF ownership, documents filed by the company with TWSE showed.
The pair said the acquisition would be too expensive, the target bank’s loan quality was unsatisfactory, and if IBF issued convertible preferred shares to fund the deal as planned, it would affect the stability of its structure. shareholder, according to the documents.
Under current banking regulations, IBF is not prohibited from acquiring a conventional bank even if it already has a virtual bank, Financial Supervisory Commission Chairman Thomas Huang (黃天牧) said in a statement. meeting at Legislative Yuan in March.
However, the commission will need to consider whether IBF is financially sound to simultaneously support two banking units, as “it takes considerable capital to operate two different types of banks,” Bureau of Banking Director General Sherri Chuang (莊 琇 媛) said at the meeting. the meeting.
IBF President Wea Chi-lin (魏啟林) told an investor conference in April that acquiring a physical channel would increase the efficiency of the business and that IBF would pursue beneficial acquisitions for equity.
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