ISLAMABAD - The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP), as a part of its statutory mandate, has approved 13 notified acquisitions in various sectors of the national economy.

All these acquisitions have the potential to bring in Foreign Direct Investment and creating jobs in the country, and are key to realizing Pakistan's ambition of becoming a regional leader in terms of economy and industry. Moreover, the willingness of foreign investors to target companies in Pakistan for joint ventures and acquisitions, as evidenced by the transactions cleared by the Commission, is a testament to Pakistan's ever improving investment climate.

In power generation, the Commission has approved the acquisition of shareholding in ThalNova Power Thar (Pvt.) Limited by Hub Power Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Hub Power Company Limited, which has a combined power generation capacity of over 1600 MW. The target in this acquisition also owns and operates a coal-fired power generation plant at Thar, Sindh.

In healthcare, the Commission has approved UPL Corporation's acquisition of Arysta LifeScience Inc., including its local subsidiary Arysta LifeScience Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd. This was a global transaction, and was notified in 14 countries and regions worldwide, including the European Union and United States of America.

In the pharmaceutical sector, it has approved SAAS Enterprises' acquisition of shareholding in Macter International Limited, one of Pakistan's leading pharmaceutical companies with over 30 years of global experience. SAAS Enterprises was primarily formed as a real estate investment company with the aim to acquire strategic real estate assets, however the company also makes long term equity investments.

It has also approved the acquisition of Alfalah Securities (Private) Limited by CLSA JV Holdings Private Limited, a company incorporated in Singapore. Alfalah Securities is owned by Bank Alfalah, Pakistan's 6th largest bank. Founded in Hong Kong in 1986, CLSA has 20 offices across the globe in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas.

The acquisition of shareholding in IGI Holdings Limited by an individual was also approved. IGI Holdings is an investment holding company belonging to the same group as IGI Life Insurance, IGI General Insurance, Packages Limited, Tri-Pack Films Limited and OMYA.

In telecommunications, the acquisition of Sharp Telecom (Pvt.) Limited by HB International Investments was approved. Sharp Telecom is a licensed Wireless Local Loop operator in Pakistan, while HB International Investments is also active in the segment through its subsidiary, wi-tribe Pakistan Limited.

In the locomotive sector, the Commission has approved the acquisition of General Electric Company's transport business segment by Westinghouse Airbrake Technologies Corporation. General Electric's transport business is a segment within the larger General Electric Company. It is a global supplier of equipment, services and digital solutions to the rail, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries. This is a foreign-to-foreign transaction, notifiable due to the presence of the parties in Pakistan.

In specialty chemicals and petrochemicals, it has approved the acquisition of LCY Chemical Corp. by Carlton (Luxembourg) Holdings S.a.r.l., a subsidiary of Carlton Holdings (Cayman) Limited. This was also an international acquisition, and has been notified to Competition Agencies in Taiwan, South Korea, Turkey and China. A foreign-to-foreign transaction, this was notifiable due to the presence of the parties in Pakistan.

In steel, it has approved the acquisition of shareholding in Macsteel International Holdings by Macsteel Global S.à.r.l. Macsteel Global S.à.r.l., a company based in Luxembourg, processes and distributes steel. This is a foreign-to-foreign transaction, notifiable due to the presence of the parties in Pakistan.

In aviation, it approved the acquisition of Apollo Aviation Holdings Limited by TC Group, L.L.C., a member of The Carlyle Group L.P. The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager, which manages funds that invest globally. This is an international acquisition and has also been notified to Competition Agencies across several jurisdictions other than Pakistan.

As for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, the acquisition of Marshall Gas' LPG plant by Hascol Petroleum was approved. LPG, a cleaner commodity than petrol, diesel, wood, coal and fuel oil, is mostly used by domestic consumers for cooking purposes where supply of natural gas is not available.

In the sector for automobile rentals, it has approved the acquisition of shareholding in Optimus Limited by PHL (Pvt.) Ltd. Optimus Limited is engaged in car rental services, and is the exclusive licensee of Hertz car rental services in Pakistan. With the growth of car rental services in Pakistan due to the introduction of undertakings such as Careem and Uber, this segment is deemed to be profitable.

Lastly, in the entertainment sector, the acquisition of NC Entertainment by an individual was approved by the Commission. NC Entertainment owns and operates Universal Cinemas in Lahore and Multan.