Government OKs sales of CAT’s land, Intellicare’s shares

THE country’s antitrust agency has approved the purchase by Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) of 290 hectares of land owned by Central de Azucarera de Tarlac (CAT). The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) also approved the same day Fullerton Healthcare’s acquisition of 60 percent of shares in Intellicare Group.

In the Commission’s decisions both signed on Tuesday, March 6, the PCC found both transactions do not result in substantial lessening of competition in their relevant markets.

In a statement, the PCC explained ALI is buying CAT’s land in Barangay Central, San Miguel, Tarlac City, Tarlac.

According to the ALI-CAT decision, the parties are “not operating in the same geographic market.”

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ALI, a publicly listed corporation in the country, is primarily engaged in the development of large-scale, integrated estates. CAT, also listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange, is mainly engaged in the manufacturing of sugar and all its by-products.

The second transaction approved by the PCC involves the acquisition of Fullerton Healthcare Corp. Ltd. of 60 percent of the issued and outstanding capital shares of Intellicare Group, comprised of three companies: Asalus Corp., Avega Managed Care Inc. and Aventus Medical Care Inc. (Aventus).

“No overlaps exist between the parties in the domestic geographic market in health-maintenance organization [HMO], third-party administration [TPA] products and clinical and drug testing laboratories,” the decision read.

Fullerton, a foreign corporation, and through its subsidiaries, engages principally in health care and specialty services in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Australia and New Zealand.

Operating under the trade name “Intellicare,” Asalus is engaged in the business of developing, maintaining and promoting integrated medical and health-maintenance services and offering HMO products and standard full HMO services.  Avega also engaged in the integrated and medical and health-maintenance services and primarily offers TPA-type HMO product.

Aventus is engaged in the business of establishing, owning and managing medical clinics and medical or clinical laboratories, including drug-testing laboratories and providing medical health-care services and products.

The approval of the two transactions brought the total number of approved mergers and acquisitions by the PCC to 127.

The PCC is mandated under the Philippine Competition Act, to review mergers and acquisitions, including joint ventures that meet the P1-billion threshold to ensure these deals will not harm consumers’ interest.

Since the PCC’s establishment in 2016, it has received 152 notifications, 41 of which were global mergers with a combined worth of P2.25 trillion. Majority of transactions came from the manufacturing, financial, electricity, real-estate and transportation sectors.

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