The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has approved Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp.’s (CLHC) acquisition of Starlite Ferries, Inc.
In decision number 29 M-036/2017 signed October 26, the PCC resolved that it will take no further action on CLHC’s acquisition of 100% shares of stock from the owners of Starlite and its subsidiaries.
PCC’s decision noted the recommendation from its Mergers & Acquisitions Office, which said that based on information obtained from the parties and other sources, the acquisition “does not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the relevant market, since there are no overlaps between the parties’ passenger/cargo transport services in the Philippines.”
It added that “the merged firm does not have the ability and incentive to engage in foreclosure, post-acquisition, and in any case, sufficient post-acquisition competitive constraints on the merged firm remain from other market participants.”
CLHC last September announced that it signed a memorandum of understanding to buy 100% shares of stocks from the owners of Starlite and its subsidiaries. CLHC is a Philippine-registered holding company which, through its wholly owned subsidiaries, engages in domestic shipping activities.
CLHC through its subsidiary Udenna Investments BV holds indirect economic interest in total transport solutions provider 2GO Group, Inc.
CLHC’s other subsidiaries are Chelsea Shipping Corp., which is engaged in the maritime conveyance of petroleum products and various merchandise over waterways in the Philippines, and Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, Inc. (Trans-Asia), which transports passengers and cargo within the Philippines.
Starlite, meanwhile, is engaged in domestic shipping, operating passenger and cargo vessels. Starlite and its subsidiaries have 14 vessels, of which five are roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) passenger vessels that were acquired brand-new in 2016 and 2017. Starlite services the ports of Batangas, Calapan, Puerto Galera, Roxas, and Caticlan. With its brand-new vessels, Starlite plans to expand further to other ports.
CLHC chairman Dennis Uy earlier said the “acquisition will bring us a step closer to fulfilling our commitment to growth in order to realize more value for our stakeholders, from the investors to the consumers.”
Once all the processes and regulatory approvals are obtained, the acquisition will be financed by the net proceeds from CLHC’s initial public offering (IPO) of common shares. The holding firm has earmarked P1.78 billion of the IPO for fleet expansion; P245 million for the purchase or upgrade of ports, port facilities, containers, machinery and equipment; P3.20 billion for acquiring shipping and logistics firms; and P278 million for general corporate purposes.
“By modernizing and expanding our operations, we can provide better shipping and logistics solutions as well as make our country more competitive in capturing the increasing trade opportunities in Southeast Asia,” Uy said.
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