THE PHILIPPINE Competition Commission (PCC) has approved the acquisition of BDO Unibank, Inc.’s publicly listed subsidiary BDO Leasing and Finance, Inc. (BLFI) by three real estate businessmen.

Under a share purchase agreement, businessmen Vittorio P. Lim, Victor Y. Lim, Jr., and Luis N. Yu, Jr. are acquiring 88.84% of the total outstanding capital of BLFI from BDO Unibank, Inc. and its subsidiary BDO Capital & Investment Corp.

The antitrust commission found the transaction does not result in substantial lessening of competition in their relevant markets, with no overlaps between their business activities before and after the transaction.

The commission will take no further action, PCC said in a press release on Tuesday.

The sale of the subsidiary is part of the BDO Group’s restructuring after new accounting regulations covering lease transactions affected the parties’ portfolio adjustments.

The International Financial Reporting Standards or IFRS 16 requiring leases to be recognized on-balance sheet like a loan facility took effect last year.

BDO in January said this regulation makes lease transactions less attractive to corporate borrowers.

BLFI posted P81 million in net income in the first half, recovering from the P29-million net loss reported a year ago after it addressed margin compression. The company engages in direct leases, real estate leases, as well as as sale and leasebacks.

The Philippine Competition Commission, which reviews big-ticket mergers and acquisitions, received five notifications with a combined value of P49.3 billion since it applied new quarantine guidelines in May.

Trading of BLFI’s shares has been suspended. — Jenina P. Ibañez