I remember when the commonwealth bank merged with the State Bank of Victoria (SBV). I lived in Victoria and had a state bank account. That is how I became a CBA customer. Later the CBA shares were floated to the public. I could kick myself for not buying some, but I was a young 21 years old.
On 1 January 1991 the State Bank of Victoria (SBV) was merged with the Commonwealth Bank. The Group remained a Government owned enterprise until the conversion of the Bank into a public company with share capital on 17 April 1991. The Commonwealth Bank was privatised in three stages:
- In July / August 1991 an offer of newly issued shares in the Bank was made to the public. 230 million shares, comprising 30% of its voting shares, were issued on 12 September 1991 at an issue price of $5.40.
- In October 1993, the Commonwealth Government further reduced its shareholding in the Bank to 50.4% of the total number of issued voting shares. 178 million shares were listed on 1 November 1993, at an issue price of $9.35 for retail investors and $9.60 for institutional investors.
- In July 1996, the Commonwealth Government made a public offer of its remaining 50.4% shareholding in the Bank. In conjunction with this offer, the Bank agreed to buy back 100 million shares from the Commonwealth Government. The buyback price was $10.01 per share, with the Bank paying the Commonwealth Government just over $1 billion. The public offer and buyback were completed on 22 July 1996. The Government’s public offer was for 399 million shares. Investors paid $6, with the remaining instalment of $4.45 being due on 14 November 1997. Investors were entitled to the three dividends payable in the intervening period.