Ayala unit buys major stake in Visayan drugstore chain
Conglomerate Ayala Corp. is expanding its health care portfolio through the acquisition of a Visayas-based drugstore chain.
Ayala announced in a stock exchange filing on Friday that wholly owned subsidiary Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc. (AC Health) had agreed to acquire a 75-percent stake in Negros Grace Pharmacy Inc.
The deal has yet to close and will be finalized upon the fulfillment of certain conditions and the securing of necessary regulatory approval.
Negros Grace, which is based in Bacolod City and was established in 1971, owns and operates a chain of 70 drugstores across Central and Western Visayas, the disclosure showed.
“This transaction enables AC Health to expand its portfolio in pharmacies, particularly in the Visayas region,” Ayala said in its filing.
AC Health already owns Generika Drugstore, regarded as the pioneer in generic retail pharmacies, and MedGrocer, a Food and Drug Administration-licensed online pharmacy.
Its most recent investment is AIDE, an app that allows users to access a slew of health care services such as medical consultations and lab extraction, and interpretation from the comfort of their homes.
AC Health’s portfolio also includes FamilyDOC, a new chain of community-based primary care clinics. Earlier this year, it established Vigos Health Technologies, which develops digital platforms such as electronic medical records and a clinic information system.
The broader goal, Ayala chair and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala had said, was to improve healthcare services and lower costs.
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