The Philippine Competition Commission said Monday it approved a new joint venture between the city government of Manila and another private partner for a reclamation project in Manila Bay.
Similar to the recent approval of Manila Waterfront City, the PCC Mergers and Acquisitions Office said it found no substantial lessening of competition from the creation of a joint venture between JBros Construction Corp. and the city government of Manila for the “Manila Horizon” Reclamation Project.
“The transaction is a new area of investment formed for the creation of a residential and commercial real estate development project. This will expand the existing market and likely create an opportunity for the emergence of new markets for commercial and residential real estate within the City of Manila,” the anti-trust body said.
The commission said there were neither affected customers nor any commercial activity in the relevant geographic market.
Horizon Manila is a 419-hectare raw-land reclamation and development of three islands on the foreshore and offshore areas in Manila Bay, located south of the Manila-Pasay border and east of Roxas Boulevard. The project aims to generate employment and business opportunities in Manila.
JBros Construction is engaged in the business of general and large-scale construction, with notable projects such as the GSIS building and the National Museum of History. Under the proposal, JBros Construction will contribute capital and expertise.
Manila, a highly urbanized city, will contribute rights over municipal waters where the project will be developed.
The parties arranged for a contractual joint venture to develop the project with the intention to share profits, risks and losses. The resulting unincorporated joint venture will be governed by a sharing arrangement with 51 percent for Manila and 49 percent for JBros Construction.
Among the several reclamation projects under the Philippine Reclamation Authority, only projects and firms whose transaction value meet the thresholds under the Philippine Competition Act, such as the Manila Horizon, are subject to PCC merger review clearance.
The PCC’s clearance is specific to competition implications in the commercial and residential real estate development markets in the affected areas.
The said joint venture is the 212th transaction cleared by the PCC, and the third among joint ventures created for reclamation projects after approving the joint ventures between Manila Waterfront City and City of Manila and Pasay Harbor City and Pasay City.
As the country’s antitrust authority, PCC is mandated under the PCA to review mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures of firms across all sectors.