PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan said the antitrust body received 168 M&A notifications as of December 31, 2018, wherein 159 transactions were approved by the Commission.
Of the nine M&A notifications pending for PCC’s approval, three are under the sufficiency determination stage, two are under Phase 1 review, two are under the more in-depth Phase 2 review, one is pending with the courts, and one has not been refiled.
“In 2018 alone, the Commission received 40 M&A transactions, altogether worth PHP438 billion, of which 33 were approved,” Balisacan said in a statement.
Majority of the M&A notifications were from sectors of real estate, manufacturing, electricity and gas, and transportation and storage.
Also in 2018, the PCC, for the first time, raised the threshold for mandatory notification for M&A transactions.
In March last year, the threshold climbed to PHP5 billion for size of person, or one of the parties involved in the transaction, and PHP2 billion for the size of transaction.
Threshold before the adjustment was only at PHP1 billion for both size of person and transaction.
Balisacan said the M&A notification threshold is up for another review this year.
“Beginning March 2019, these thresholds will be adjusted based on nominal GDP (gross domestic product) growth of the previous year,” he added.