THE Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) has approved South Korea’s Lotte Chilsung Beverage Co. Ltd.’s acquisition of more than 57% of Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI).

The antitrust regulator said in a statement Monday that the transaction is not likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition, noting that there are competitive constraints from other participants in the carbonated soft drinks, non-carbonated beverage, and bottled water markets.

Lotte Chilsung Beverage is acquiring up to 2,134,381,838 common shares or 57.78% of total issued and outstanding capital stock of PCPPI through a tender offer to all shareholders except Lotte Corp. and other excluded shareholders. The company is buying PCPPI shares at P1.95 each.

Lotte Chilsung Beverage is a subsidiary of Lotte Corp., a principal shareholder of PCPPI.

PCC in its decision issued Thursday also said that the share acquisition will not likely increase either party’s ability to engage in input or customer foreclosure in the global market for Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) supply and the national market for non-alcoholic beverage distribution.

PCPPI’s authorized capital stock as of November was P750 million divided into five billion shares of common stock with a par value of 15 centavos per share. From this, more than 3.6 billion common shares are issued, outstanding and fully paid-up equivalent to more than P554 million.

PCPPI is the Philippine bottler and distributor of US food, snack, and beverage multinational PepsiCo Inc.

Lotte Chilsung Beverage is a Seoul-based company manufacturing soft drinks, foods, and other beverages.

PCC has so far approved 194 out of 211 mergers and acquisitions it reviewed. — Jenina P. Ibañez