By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
THE health care unit of Ayala Corp. (AC) plans to subscribe to more shares in the Generika group of companies to fund the pharmacy’s expansion.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Thursday, the listed conglomerate said Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health) has signed conditional agreements to subscribe to an additional 2.5% stake in the Generika group, bringing its ownership to 52.5%.
The Generika group includes Actimed, Inc., Erikagen, Inc., Novelis Solutions, Inc., and Pharm Gen Ventures Corp.
Under the deal, AC Health will subscribe to a total of 970,412 shares in Generika, consisting of 706,579 shares in Actimed, 42,105 shares in Erikagen, 155,921 shares in Novelis, and 65,807 shares in Pharm Gen Ventures.
“We continue to see increasing demand for quality generic medicines and are excited about Generika’s growth potential. The additional capital will help us with our store and product expansion efforts,” AC Health President and Chief Executive Officer Paolo Maximo F. Borromeo said in a text message to BusinessWorld.
“We will also use it for operations and technology improvements which will be critical to support our store expansion,” he added.
The company did not disclose the exact value of the transaction, but noted that it is less than 10% of AC’s total equity.
AC Health first acquired a stake in the Generika Group back in 2015, following its partnership with the Ferrer family. The company has since targeted to increase its network to 1,000 stores by 2020, from its current portfolio of more than 800 stores.
AC President and Chief Operating Officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala earlier said that they invested in the Generika drugstore since generic medicines provide Filipinos up to 80% savings versus branded equivalents, allowing better access to communities.
AC Health also manages FamilyDoc clinics, which is seen to have 100 clinics by next year from more than 50 locations by end-2018. The company acquired a 75% stake in Negros Grace Pharmacy, Inc. last year, expanding its footprint in Visayas.
The company has previously invested in technologies related to the health care industry. This includes health app called Aide, which allows patients to book medical professionals who can provide services at home, as well as online pharmacy MedGrocer.
AC’s net income attributable to the parent went up by five percent to P31.8 billion in 2018, driven by its property, telco, and energy units. Revenues for the group stood at P274.88 billion, 13% higher year on year.
Shares in AC gained 0.6% or P5.50 to close at P925.50 each at the stock exchange on Thursday.