Philippines: The 30-day inquiry by the Mergers and Acquisitions Office (MAO) of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) into First Stronghold Cement’s takeover of Holcim Philippines has concluded that the deal may affect market concentration in the cement sector. The Philippine Star reports that this finding clears the way for a phase-two review. The MAO will seek to ascertain whether the deal might result in lessened competition or increase the likelihood of cartel-like activities. This ties in with the Commission’s general investigation into anti-competitiveness in the cement industry.
First Stronghold Cement, a subsidiary of San Miguel, has a stake in Northern Cement and its president and chief operating officer, Ramón Ang, is also the majority owner and chairman of Eagle Cement. In May 2019 it acquired 85.7% of Holcim Philippines for US$2.15bn.