ICICI Bank seeking suitable target for acquisition: CEO Kochhar

ICICI Bank is open to acquiring another bank if it finds one with the right size and right valuation, but said it is yet to find one that fits in its evaluation model, the private lender's chief executive Chanda Kochhar said today.

ICICI Bank, which added 650 branches to its network in the financial year ended 31 March 2014, is as such adding new business equivalent to the size of one bank in its ordinary course of business, and any acquisition target would need to be of a relevant size, Kochhar told PTI in an interview in Mumbai.

"Earlier we took over banks of the size of 300-400 branches as they were relevant to our size at that time. But today the size would have to be different. And with addition of 650 branches last year, it is like adding one full bank in a year," she said.

In the past, ICICI Bank has acquired entities like Bank of Madura, Sangli Bank and Bank of Rajasthan, while its network currently comprises over 3,750 branches - the largest among private sector banks in India.

Asked whether ICICI Bank was open to fresh acquisitions, she said, "We are always open, but only if you get something at the right price and of right size.

"However, as of now there is nothing that looks like our evaluation model, but we keep our eyes open all the time ... we have also grown over the years and therefore the size of a bank that one wants to take over has to be in the context of the acquirer's own size."

Kochhar, who began her career with erstwhile ICICI Ltd in 1984 and became managing director and CEO of ICICI Bank in 2009, said that the 650 branches added by the bank to its network in the last fiscal was equivalent to adding one full bank every year.

Asked about the bank's targets for the current financial year, she said that it would be difficult to give an estimate off the cuff, but that 350-400 branches would be added for certain.

ICICI Bank is India's largest private sector bank with total assets of Rs 5,94,642 crore as on March 31, 2014, while its total revenue and net profit for the last fiscal stood at Rs 54,606 crore and Rs 9,810 crore, respectively.

The bank was originally promoted in 1994 by ICICI Ltd, an Indian financial institution, and was its wholly-owned subsidiary.