BACOLOD

Ayala backs out of Negros Grace acquisition

“AYALA is not pushing through with the purchase anymore of the shares in Negros Grace Pharmacy Inc. (NGP).”

This was stressed by Melanie Zosa, lawyer of NGP founder Corazon Lo, on Tuesday, October 22, after they received the letter of Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc. (AHHI) addressed to the Mergers and Acquisition Office of the Philippine Competition Commission that they have decided not to pursue the proposed acquisition of shares in NGP.

“Ayala is not pushing through with the purchase anymore. They came out a letter dated September 10, 2019 addressed to the Philippine Competition,” Zosa said.

In her letter, Lauren Nina Go, legal counsel of AHHI, stated that “we would like to update the Commission that unfortunately, the parties to the transaction have decided not to pursue the transaction. As such, all shares of NGP, remains to be owned by Jasminum Corporation.”

Zosa said that according to Ian Manuel Lo, son of Corazon Lo, he and AHHI agreed not to extend the consummation or closing date of the sale, which was on August 31.

“Ian Manuel Lo and AHHI agreed not to extend the closing date anymore,” she said.

In February, Corazon Lo filed a case before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) against Ian Manuel, Ma. Paz Lo, Theodore Manuel, Sheila Lo, Negros Grace Pharmacy Inc., Solomon Drug Corp., Samuel Drug Corp., Steveston Drug Corp., Corporate Secretary of Negros Grace Pharmacy Inc., and Ayala Health Care Holdings Inc.

She sought the nullity of deeds of assignment, deeds of sale, agreement, cancellation of stocks certificates, injunction and damages with application for temporary restraining order/writ of preliminary injunction.

Corazon Lo earlier said that she only learned about NGP’s disposal from the news which was confirmed by lawyer Asia Canieso, counsel of Ian.

She said she felt very sad when she learned about the apparent disposal of their family's valued business, the chain of drug stores that she and her husband Manuel Lo put up 48 years ago.

Corazon Lo added they gave all their time, effort and resources to make the business grow bigger with more than 70 branches in Bacolod City, the province of Negros Occidental, and Panay Island.

In December 7, 2018 Ayala Health Care Holdings Inc. signed a Share Purchase Agreement with Jasminum for a controlling stake in Negros Grace Pharmacy Inc.

Corazon Lo said it was the grand scheme of her sons Ian, Theodore, and Sheila to deprive her of the income, dividends and benefits that should have accrued to her during her lifetime.

She said that she did not want to sell NGP.

Meanwhile, Zosa said the next hearing of the case will be on November 18 and 25 at RTC Branch 53 in Bacolod City.


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