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UPDATE 3-Singapore's OCBC offers $1 bln to take insurer Great Eastern private


OCBC bids $1 bln for full stake in Great Eastern


S$25.60 offer price is at 37% premium to target's last close


Offer values Great Eastern at S$12.12 bln


OCBC intends to delist Great Eastern after acquiring it

(Adds OCBC result in paragraph 4, Great Eastern's contribution to OCBC profit in 5)

By Poonam Behura

May 10 (Reuters) - Singapore's second-biggest lender, OCBC, unveiled a S$1.4 billion ($1.04 billion) offer on Friday to buy the remaining stake in insurer Great Eastern Holdings and delist the company.

OCBC, Great Eastern's biggest shareholder, said it would acquire the 11.56% stake in the insurer that it does not currently own. If it goes through, the deal will give the lender full ownership of the firm.


The offer price of S$25.60 per share, a premium of 37% to Great Eastern's last traded price of S$18.70, values it at S$12.12 billion. OCBC, which is also Southeast Asia's no.2 lender, said it intends to delist Great Eastern from Singapore markets after acquiring it.

OCBC's offer announcement follows its record first-quarter profit, and upbeat projections for net interest margin in 2024.

Great Eastern has contributed an average of about S$700 million annually in net profit to OCBC over the past 10 years, which translates to an average of about 15% of OCBC's annual net profit over this period, OCBC said in its statement.

The lender said it expected its proposed stake acquisition would be earnings accretive.

Great Eastern could not be reached immediately for a Reuters request for comments on the proposed acquisition. The company requested for a trading halt of shares immediately after OCBC's announcement.

OCBC Group CEO Helen Wong said the offer was a "natural progression" of its strategy.

"We have been looking at opportunities to best use our capital and believe the offer allows us to deploy our resources into a key business that is expected to be earnings accretive to OCBC."

($1 = 1.3519 Singapore dollars) (Reporting by Poonam Behura; Editing by Pooja Desai, Alan Barona and Rashmi Aich)