ICBC acquisition of ACL Bank in Thailand
ICBC had been looking to acquire ACL since 2007, but the deal remained grounded due to structural and valuation issues, and difficulties of obtaining government approvals for a 49%+ foreign acquisition of a non-distressed bank.
An additional challenge was that the largest shareholder of the bank was the Ministry of Finance, who had bought 30.6% of the bank during 1997-98 financial crisis at THB11.50 per share, and the Ministry would not be able to sell its holding at less than that price, whereas the average price of ACL shares in H1 2009 was THB 3.96.
In 2009, Strategy613 was brought into the deal on behalf of the Thai government. Within months, ICBC made a public voluntary tender offer for all of ACL shares with a value of over US$ 550 million, and the deal closed with all approvals granted on both sides, in April 2010.