Sale of sugar assets to Gokongwei firm OKd
Gokongwei-led Universal Robina Corp. has obtained clearance from the antitrust agency Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to take over the sugar mill, bioethanol plant and other sugar assets of Roxas Holdings Inc. (RHI) in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental.
The parties were notified by the PCC that following a review of the transaction, the government agency deemed that the deal would “not likely result in substantial lessening of competition in the markets for the provision of sugar cane milling services and tolling services in Negros Island as well as the national markets for bioethanol, the sale of raw sugar sold in wholesale, and the sale of molasses to traders,” RHI disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday.
“The acquisition by URC of the sugar milling and bioethanol distillery assets will create synergies in the sugar industry in Negros Occidental. This transaction is expected to enhance the capability of URC to provide good milling services to the sugarcane planters,” URC said in a separate disclosure.
The PCC’s approval of URC’s purchase of RHI’s assets and shares held in Najalin Agri-Ventures Inc. was among the conditions prior to the consummation of this transaction. The deal also involved RHI’s wholly owned subsidiaries, Central Azucarera de la Carlota Inc. and Roxol Bioenergy Corp.
Aside from the operational synergies to be achieved between La Carlota and existing URC operations in sugar, URC said the acquisition was also intended to help sugarcane planters boost their productivity and help local communities in Negros Occidental by providing more opportunities.
“In addition, the acquisition will allow URC to continue in its efforts to support the development of the sugar industry in the Philippines,” the company said.
URC will acquire buildings, improvements, machinery and equipment, and laboratory equipment as well as the parcels of land on which these assets are located. It will also take over certain investment properties of RHI that are necessary for the continuing operations of the sugar milling plant in La Carlota City.
Following the favorable PCC decision, RHI said the parties would now aim to complete the other closing conditions and work toward closing the asset sale transaction “at the soonest possible time.” INQ
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