AC Health increases Generika stake

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THE health care arm of Ayala Corp. (AC) on Thursday completed its acquisition of additional shares in the Generika Group, bringing its total ownership to 52.5%.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange yesterday, AC said Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health) has completed all closing conditions for its subscription to a total of 970,412 shares in Generika, equivalent to an additional 2.5% stake.

“Following the completion of conditions precedent, AC Health will proceed with the closing of the increase to 52.5% in its equity stake in Erikagen, Inc.,” the company said.

The deal was earlier cleared by the Philippine Competition Commission.

The subscription involves 706,579 shares from Actimed, Inc., 42,105 shares in Erikagen, Inc., 155,921 shares in Novelis Solutions, Inc., and 65,807 shares in Pharm Gen Ventures Corp.

AC Health said the transaction will help boost the Generika Group’s expansion nationwide, as it sees increasing demand for generic medicines in the future.

The company first acquired an equity stake in the Generika Group in 2015 through a partnership with the Ferrer family.

AC President and Chief Operating Officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala said the decision to invest in Generika is part of their vision to provide access to cheaper medicine to communities, since generic medicines are typically priced 80% lower than branded equivalents.

AC Health targets to have 1,000 Generika drugstores in the country by 2020.

Aside from the Generika Group, AC Health’s portfolio also includes the FamilyDoc clinics, which it looks to expand to 80 clinics by end-2019, up to 100 clinics by 2020. The company also has a 75% stake in Negros Grace Pharmacy, Inc.

AC Health has also been investing in medical technologies that will bring it closer to consumers. It currently has ownerships in health app Aide, where patients can book medical professional for home services, and online pharmacy MedGrocer.

Last month, the company invested in US-based medical technology firm Fibronostics that can deliver more screening and monitoring solutions to its clinics.

The company is likewise investing P2 billion for the construction of a 100-bed cancer specialty hospital in Metro Manila. The facility will have diagnostic equipment including a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, chemotherapy facilities, linear accelerators for advanced radiation therapy, and operating rooms for the specialist surgeons.

AC’s net income attributable to the parent climbed five percent to P8.03 billion in the first quarter of 2019, after gross revenues added three percent to P66.07 billion in the same period.

Shares in AC slipped 0.22% or P2 to close at P901 each at the stock exchange on Thursday. — Arra B. Francia