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Pakyawan sa pharma? PCC flags Ayala’s buyout of North Luzon drugstore

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has launched a thorough review of the Ayala-owned Generika Drugstore’s plan to acquire Joleco Resources, which operates the St. Joseph Drug chain in Northern Luzon.

AHCHI Pharma Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of AC Health, acquired a 49% stake in Joleco earlier this year. St. Joseph Drugstore has over 100 branches in the Ilocos and Cordillera Administrative Regions.

“An initial data-gathering by PCC Mergers and Acquisitions Office (MAO) under its Phase 1 review pointed to potential competition concerns in the retail sale of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical products across 28 localities in Northern Luzon,” the PCC said in a statement.

AC Health’s pharmaceutical interests include the Generika Drugstore, and importation businesses I.E. Medica and MedEthix.

In a stock exchange filing last year, Ayala said the acquisition of St. Hoseph Drug will expand the conglomerate’s footprint in the pharma industry in order to provide quality and affordable medicines to the public.

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