SMC-Holcim deal good for industry, says Lopez
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said San Miguel Corp.’s (SMC) acquisition of Holcim Philippines marked a “good” development for the local cement industry.
Lopez said this in a statement even though the acquisition still needed to pass the scrutiny of the country’s antitrust body.
First Stronghold Cement Industries Inc. intends to buy 85.73 percent of Holcim Philippines, a deal which will bring the ownership of the country’s cement manufacturer in the hands of a Filipino company. First Stronghold is a wholly owned unit of San Miguel Equity Investments Inc., a subsidiary of SMC.
“It is also good that the buyer is an existing player, which is known in the industry as a price player or one whose brands have relatively lower price points. This is probably because of modern and newer facilities that result in better yields and lower cost operations,” Lopez said.
“The purchase of Holcim’s production assets can provide further push for lower cement prices as there usually are synergies generated in acquisitions. We can therefore expect more competitive pricing in the industry,” he added.