Bilyonaryo Pedro Roxas is crossing his fingers the Philippine Competition Commission will not strike down Roxas Holding’s second deal with Lance Gokongwei’s Universal Robina Corp.
“We are hopeful that we can get the necessary approvals before the start of the next Crop Year,” Chairman Pedro Roxas said. “We believe that this sale transaction should not raise significant competition concerns as there are many players in Negros, considering that the province is the country’s sugar capital,” he added.
Roxas Holdings announced on June 5 that it has struck a deal to sell its sugar mill, ethanol plant and other investment properties in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental to URC.
This is the second transaction in has made with URC in nearly two years when Roxas Holdings agreed to sell its Nasugbu, Batangas subsidiairy – Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. (CADPI) – to URC in August 2018.
The Nasugbu deal was rejected by PCC in February 2019 because it would create a monopoly not only in Batangas (URC has a big sugar mill in Balayan, Batangas) but also in Cavite, Laguna, and Quezon.
Roxas Holdings plans to use the proceeds of the sale of its Negros mill to pay off debt and refocus its resources on rebuilding its Nasugbu sugar milling and refining facilities.