THE PHILIPPINE Competition Commission (PCC) has approved the full acquisition of Hitachi Terminals Mechatronics Philippines Corp. by Japanese firm Mikuni Toyo Co., Ltd. as the transaction is not seen to lessen competition in the domestic market.

“In a Commission Decision issued December 10, the competition authority affirmed the Mergers and Acquisitions Office’s findings that the acquisition is unlikely to result in substantial lessening of competition,” PCC said in a statement on Friday.

It was confirmed that the two firms produce different products for different purposes. Moreover, both are only manufacturing and assembling their products in their local manufacturing sites and are then exported to other countries.

“Parties operate merely as manufacturers and assemblers of Printed Circuit Boards for automotive remote engine starters (Mikuni Toyo), and ATM modules (Hitachi Terminals), which are all exported to their foreign parent entities and third parties outside of the Philippines,” PCC said in the decision.

Mikuni Toyo was established in 1989 in Japan and has a production facility in Light Industry and Science Park III in Sto. Tomas, Batangas through its affiliate Mikuni Electronics Corp., which was established in 2002. The company produces and assembles electronic boards used for air-conditioners, elevators, remote engine starters, and security systems.

Meanwhile, Hitachi Terminals is one of the businesses of Japan-based Hitachi Group in the Philippines through Hitachi Asia Ltd.- Philippine Branch, which was incorporated in 1996. It has a manufacturing plant in Subic Bay Freeport Zone, where it manufactures and assembles products for finance related machines such as card readers and banknote or coin cassettes used for Automated Teller Machines. All products are being exported to Japan.

The acquisition is in line with Mikuni Toyo’s diversification of its portfolio and expansion of its market in the manufacturing and assembly sector, specifically in Subic, which could also modernize the facilities and enhance production of Hitachi Terminals.

The PCC has already approved 188 mergers and acquisitions, while 201 are still subject for review. All in all, these have total value of P3.28 trillion. — Vincent Mariel P. Galang