Ayala buys St. Joseph Drug

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Ayala Group has further expanded its healthcare footprint by acquiring another pharmaceutical chain.

Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc. (AC Health), the health arm of conglomerate Ayala Corp. has acquired a significant minority stake in North Luzon-based pharmaceutical company, St. Joseph Drug or Joleco Resources Inc.

“The addition of St. Joseph Drug to our portfolio is in line with our commitment to enhance accessibility and affordability of healthcare for Filipinos nationwide. St. Joseph Drug, alongside our existing retail pharma brand, Generika Drugstore, will expand our capacity and footprint to distribute quality and affordable medicine to our countrymen,” AC Health president and CEO Paolo Borromeo said.

“Together with our pharma importation businesses IE Medica and MedEthix, we will greatly enhance synergies and efficiencies within our pharmacy platform to further improve our products and services throughout our AC Health network,” he added.

St. Joseph Drug chairman, president and CEO Socorro Dorotea “Gigi” Cruz, for her part, said the company would be able to broaden its reach with the help of AC Health.

“This partnership with AC Health marks a significant milestone in St. Joseph Drug’s journey. We are proud to have established St. Joseph Drug as a household name in Northern Luzon over the years, and we look forward to broadening our reach with AC Health,” she said.

The definitive agreements were signed last Dec. 15 between St. Joseph Drug and AC Health’s pharmaceutical arm, AHCHI Pharma Ventures Inc. (APV).

Established in 1958 by pharmacist Jose “Pepe” Cruz and his wife Leila Lagman from Dagupan City, St. Joseph Drug has grown from a modest provincial drugstore with three employees and a 3.5-meter storefront into a leading regional pharmaceutical chain spanning over 112 stores across Northern Luzon.

AHCHI Pharma Ventures Inc. (APV) serves as the holding company for AC Health’s pharmaceutical businesses. Composed of Generika Drugstore, the pioneer in generic retail pharmacies, and I.E. Medica and MedEthix, its pharma importation and distribution arms, APV now includes St. Joseph Drug. This strategic acquisition enables AC Health to strengthen its pharma footprint and reach more Filipinos throughout the country.

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