23 April 2024

PCC to begin more thorough review of Ayala’s acquisition of Northern Luzon drugstore chain

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has begun an in-depth review of the proposed acquisition by the Generika Drugstore operator of a substantial stake in a Northern Luzon drugstore chain.

AHCHI Pharma Ventures Inc. (Ayala Pharma Ventures), which operates Generika Drugstore, and Joleco Resources Inc., which operates St. Joseph Drugstore, notified PCC last January 13 of their proposed transaction, which would involve Ayala Pharma Ventures acquiring a 49-percent stake in Joleco Resources.

An initial data-gathering by PCC Mergers and Acquisitions Office (MAO) under its Phase 1 review pointed to potential competition concerns in the retail sale of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products across 28 localities in Northern Luzon. These localities span the Ilocos Region and Cordillera Administrative Region.

Given the above, the MAO recommended opening a Phase 2 review, which entails conducting a more detailed and extensive assessment on whether the transaction may lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the relevant markets.

Under the Philippine Competition Act of 2015, the PCC is mandated to review mergers or acquisitions to ensure that these deals will not substantially lessen competition in the relevant markets and harm consumer welfare.


PCC Public Affairs and Research Division