GE Money, the consumer finance unit of the General Electric Company has agreed to acquire a 25.4% interest in the Thailand-based Bank of Ayudhya (BAY) for $600 million as it bids to expand its presence in the country.
BAY and GE Money have been joint venture partners since 2001, offering credit cards and personal loans to Thai customers. The deal will give the financial services company access to the bank’s four million deposit accounts and 50,000 commercial accounts.
Yoshiaki Fujimori, president and CEO for GE Money Asia, said: The combination of BAY’s performance history and local banking experience and GE’s global expertise and business management processes will help fulfill our shared vision to become Thailand’s ‘bank of choice’ and to drive sound growth for the future.
Established in 1945, BAY is the 6th largest bank in Thailand in terms of assets and loans, with 500 branches. BAY and GE Money already manage the Krungsriayudhya Card Company Ltd, which serves 700,000 card customers and held total assets of $339 million in 2005, generating $61 million in revenues.
GE Money will continue to operate a consumer finance company, as it has done since 1993. Under the Bank of Thailand’s single presence rule, GE Money’s investment in the Bank of Ayudhya requires that it return its GE Money Retail Bank license.