PCC to scrutinize ICTSI’s acquisition of more Manila North Harbour shares
The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) will conduct a thorough review of International Container Terminal Services Inc.’s plan to raise its stockholdings in Manila North Harbour Port Inc. (MNHPI).
Upon completion of the deal, ICTSI’s stake in MNHPI will increase to 50 percent. The remaining shares are held by San Miguel Holdings Corp. (43.33 percent), IZ Investment Holdings, (6.5 percent), and Petron Corp. (0.17 percent).
According to the PCC, a further review by its mergers and acquisitions office (MAO) is warranted as the transaction may lead to reduction of competition in the country’s port operations and transshipment services industry.
“The commencement of phase II review of the transaction does not mean the MAO has made a definitive finding of substantial lessening of competition or has prejudged the review. This only signifies that a more detailed analysis of the transaction is required using additional information from ICTSI, Manila North Harbour, and third parties to determine whether the transaction will likely lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the market for port operation and transshipment services,” the PCC said.
PCC aims to determine whether the transaction will result in the closure of ICTSI and Manila North Harbor competitors, including transshipment, wherein containers or goods are shipped to one location before shipping to another.
Based on the results of the first phase review conducted, the deal may affect the port industry, particularly those providing port operation and transshipment services in the Manila port.
In the Philippines, ICTSI operates in Laguna, Olongapo, Batangas, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, and South Cotabato. It also owns and operates the Manila International Container Terminal, which services international cargo from the Port of the Manila.