San Miguel on Holcim acquisition: It’s beneficial to consumers
MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Corp. (SMC) on Saturday said that its purchase of cement maker Holcim Philippines is “beneficial” not only to consumers but as the country as well after the takeover was flagged down by a government antitrust body.
On Friday, the Mergers and Acquisitions Office (MAO) of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said that the move of First Stronghold Cement Industries Inc., an SMC subsidiary, to buy almost 86% of shares of Holcim would likely lead to higher prices of cement, as well as fewer choices in Luzon.
In its review, the MAO said the takeover would lessen competition in four key areas — Northwest Luzon, Greater Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Northeast Luzon.
Should the deal push through, imports wouldn’t be enough to have any competitive constraint on the merged companies.
The SMC subsidiary bought the shares of Holcim for P2 billion.
“We are aware of the concerns raised by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on the company’s proposed acquisition of Holcim Philippines, and are committed to achieving a favorable outcome of the review process,” SMC said in a statement.
It added: “We firmly believe that the acquisition of Holcim by San Miguel Corporation, a Filipino company, will be beneficial to consumers, the industry, and our country’s development.”
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