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Manila Water subsidiary closes drinking water division

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THE PURIFIED drinking water business unit of Manila Water Total Solutions Corp. (MWTS), a subsidiary of Manila Water Co., Inc., will be permanently closed on Oct. 31.

In a stock exchange disclosure on Wednesday, Ayala-led Manila Water said MWTS’ Healthy Family Business Division will close due to recurring losses and the inability to financially sustain its business operations.

“While the Healthy Family Business Division has in recent years made strong efforts to improve operations and profitability, the ever-increasing competition in the bottled water industry and the recent economic challenges have proved too difficult to cope and keep the business afloat,” Manila Water said.

The Healthy Family brand was launched in 2015 and ventured in the business of providing purified drinking water to customers.

MWTS will continue its operations based on its main purpose of engaging in water, wastewater and environmental services, Manila Water said.

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In a separate disclosure, Manila Water said it has received a copy of the decision by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) regarding the proposal of Razon-led Trident Water Co. Holdings, Inc. to acquire shares in the company.

The water concessionaire said the PCC decided that the proposed acquisition of Trident Water will not result in the ‘substantial lessening’ of competition.

“The Commission resolved to take no further action with respect to the proposed transaction between Trident Water and Manila Water,” the disclosure said.

On Tuesday, PCC approved the move of Trident Water to acquire 51% voting interest in Manila Water.

Trident Water, a subsidiary of Prime Metroline Infrastructure Holdings, Inc., will secure the controlling stake after a subscription of 820 million common shares from the unissued capital stock of Manila Water.

On Wednesday, shares of Manila Water at the stock exchange rose 6.66% or P0.88 to close at P14.10 per share. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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