28 December 2021
Re: UnionBank-Citibank and Century Pacific Food-Ligo transactions

To date, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has not yet received the notification submissions of Unionbank to acquire Citibank‘s consumer banking unit and Century Pacific Food (Century Tuna) to buy Ligo Sardines and Potato Corner.

Given the P50-B thresholds qualification, the parties are encouraged to conduct due diligence to check if they meet the thresholds for compulsory notification, or to steer clear of any competition issues by undergoing voluntary notification in case they do not meet the thresholds.

Parties are allowed to file their notifications before consummation, in PCC’s consideration of waiving the usual notification period of 30 days upon signing of definitive agreement, due to the pandemic.

Transactions of this nature may very well indicate the outset for economic recovery or post-pandemic restructuring.

While change of ownership of well-known brands means efficiency or expansion for former competitors into partners, this also means consumers may be faced with fewer choices and possible changes of price points. As the antitrust authority, PCC’s merger reviews will ensure that the transactions do not lead to substantial lessening of competition in the relevant markets.