Independent player acquires top LPG supplier
MANILA, Philippines–Independent player PR Gaz Inc. has acquired Liquigaz, one of the top suppliers of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the Philippines, industry sources said.
PR Gaz is financially backed by supermarket magnate Lucio Co, the sources said, adding that the parties had been working on the sale since summer.
The Department of Energy (DOE) confirmed the report concerning the deal.
The officer in charge of the Energy department, Undersecretary Zenaida Y. Monsada, said PR Gaz already notified the government agency of the acquisition.
Rep. Arnel Ty of the partylist LPG Marketer’s Association, or LPGMA, said the entry of the Lucio Co group of companies in the LPG market would at least promote competition since PR Gaz is a new player.
“Lucio Co and his companies … are strong in the retail sector,” Ty said. The group’s acquisition of Liquigaz, “if it results in more choices for retail LPG consumers, is a welcome development… At least it would offer competition to dominant players like Petron.”
Co’s Cosco Capital Inc. recently acquired office and school supplies retailer Office Warehouse Inc. Cosco has the controlling stake in Puregold Price Club Inc., which owns S&R stores. It is partnering with Japanese convenience store operator Lawson for its Philippine expansion.
Cosco also has stakes in liquor distribution companies, commercial real estate companies and oil storage. Cosco also has interests in mining and oil-related investments which it consolidated into a wholly owned subsidiary, Alcorn Petroleum and Minerals Corp.
As of end-2013, the top three LPG players were Petron, Liquigaz and Isla Gas. New LPG players accounted for the rest of the market.