In a decision issued on Tuesday, the competition watchdog prohibited the planned acquisition by Universal Robina of the refining and milling assets of Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. (CADPI) and land owned by Roxas Holdings, saying the deal “leads to a monopoly in South Luzon.”
Ernie Peñaredondo
Roxas Holdings: Blocked deal 'a lost opportunity’ for Southern Luzon sugar industry
(Philstar.com) - February 15, 2019 - 6:40pm

MANILA, Philippines — Roxas Holdings Inc. on Friday said the Philippine Competition Commission’s move to block Universal Robina Corp.’s takeover of the listed sugar milling company’s assets in Nasugbu, Batangas over monopoly concerns was a “lost opportunity” to “advance” the sugar industry in Southern Luzon.

In a decision issued on Tuesday, the competition watchdog prohibited the planned acquisition by Universal Robina of the refining and milling assets of Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. (CADPI) and land owned by Roxas Holdings, saying the deal “leads to a monopoly in South Luzon.”

The PCC described CADPI as Universal Robina’s only competitor in the sugarcane milling services market in the area. Universal Robina has a sugar mill in Balayan, Batangas.

In a statement sent to the stock exchange, Roxas Holdings said it was “saddened” by the antitrust body’s “unfavourable decision.”

“Both URC and CADPI are currently extremely under-utilized because of the scarcity of sugar cane supply in the area, which to date, is in a continuously precipitous decline,” Roxas Holdings said.

“We strongly believe consolidation of mills will bring about efficiencies for the benefit of all stakeholders,” it added. “The RHI Group will continue to operate CADPI as it explores options to further enhance its overall operations in Batangas and Negros.”

Universal Robina is engaged in the production of food and beverage, sugar, agro-industrial products, and bioethanol.

Apart from Batangas, it has mills in Iloilo, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, and Cagayan which produce raw sugar, refined sugar and molasses used by other Universal Robina business segments and third parties.

Meanwhile, Roxas Holdings owns 100 percent of the shares of CADPI, which operates an integrated sugar cane milling and refining plant in Batangas.

Roxas Holdings is also in the business of trading raw and refined sugar, and molasses. — Ian Nicolas Cigaral with reports from The STAR

PHILIPPINE COMPETITION COMMISSION (PCC)
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