URC acquiring La Carlota sugar mill, ethanol plant

June 8, 2020
James A. Loyola (Manila Bulletin) | https://bit.ly/3iA2YJb

Universal Robina Corporation,  the food and beverage unit of the Gokongwei group, is acquiring the sugar mill, ethanol plant and other assets of Roxas Holdings Inc. in La Carlota City, Negros Occidental.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, URC said it will acquire buildings, improvements, machineries & equipment, and laboratory equipment, as well as the parcels of land on which these plants, buildings and equipment are located and certain investment properties of RHI that are necessary for the continuing operations of the sugar milling plant.

In a separate disclosure, RHI, which is controlled by the First Pacific Group, said the consummation of the Sale Transaction is subject to aproval of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) and creditor banks, in addition to satisfactory completion of other closing conditions.

URC said “The Parties hope to achieve completion before the start of the next Crop Year.” The purchase price will be based on the fair market value of the assets which will be determined at the closing of the sale.

“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,” RHI Chairman Pedro Roxas said.

RHI President Hubert D. Tubio said the sale of the La Carlota assets will allow RHI to refocus its resources on rebuilding its Nasugbu sugar milling and refining facilities, among others.

“Over the years, demand for quality Central Azucarera Don Pedro (CADP) refined sugar has not waned even with the influx of imports. Industrial customers still prefer sourcing their requirements from CADP considering its proximity to the National Capital Region,” he said.

URC said that, “Aside from the operational synergies that will be achieved between La Carlota and existing URC operations in sugar, this acquisition is also intended to help sugarcane planters increase their productivity, as well as help local communities in Negros by providing more opportunities.”

In addition, the acquisition will allow URC to continue in its efforts to support the development of the sugar industry in the Philippines.