Dennis Uy's purchase of Shell's Malampaya stake to be scrutinized as antitrust watchdog resumes review of M&As
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Dennis Uy’s purchase of Shell’s Malampaya stake to be scrutinized as antitrust watchdog resumes review of M&As

The Philippine Competition Commission is set to resume motu propio review of mergers and acquisitions following a year-long suspension.

READ: Salim Group submits offer to buy Shell’s stake in Malampaya

The one-year moratorium imposed on M&As under the Bayanihan To Recover as One Act expires on September 15.

“With the year-long suspension lifted, and based on its increased market monitoring efforts, PCC can now launch motu proprio reviews and flag M&As which may have potentially anti-competitive effects regardless of any transaction value,” said PCC chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan.

READ: DOE to review Dennis Uy’s $460-M buyout of Shell’s Malampaya stake

The review will include Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s acquisition of an additional 45 percent stake in Malampaya that will raise his stake in the gas field to 90%.

“We are hopeful that the return of PCC’s motu proprio review powers would discourage deals that are potentially anti-competitive. We continue to encourage firms to voluntarily notify the Commission to avoid the taxing possibility of unwinding their transactions after,” Balisacan said.

According to he PCC, only four transactions breached the P50-billion threshold that requires its review and approval and three of these were notified under the old threshold of P2.4 billion for the size of the transaction and P6 billion for the size of party threshold.

There has been a decrease in M&A notifications since the pandemic as it received only 26 in 2020 and four this year from 46 notifications in 2019.

As of September 14, the PCC had received a total of 255 M&A transactions with a combined value of P4.56 trillion.

“We are hopeful that the return of PCC’s motu proprio review powers would discourage deals that are potentially anti-competitive. We continue to encourage firms to voluntarily notify the Commission to avoid the taxing possibility of unwinding their transactions after,” Balisacan said.

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