SM Group not looking to foray into food business

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

EVEN AS IT FINALIZES discussions for the acquisition of Goldilocks Bakeshop, Inc., the SM Group is not looking to expand into the food industry anytime soon.  

SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) Vice-Chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson answered in the negative when asked whether the acquisition of the popular bakeshop meant the conglomerate is adding a food segment.

“It just happened to be something that we looked at. But no, it’s not our foray into the (food industry),” Ms. Sy-Coson told BusinessWorld at the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Business Awards on Sept. 6.

The holding firm of country’s richest man Henry Sy, Sr. has core interests in banking, property, and retail.

SMIC is currently awaiting approval from the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) to proceed with its purchase of a controlling stake in Goldilocks. This indicates that the deal may be valued at over P1 billion, since the PCC’s mandate is to review transactions worth P1 billion and above.

The homegrown bakeshop, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016, earlier said it sought to form an alliance with the SM Group in order to help grow the brand in the next 50 years. Goldilocks currently has a network of more than 500 stores spread out across the country and in the United States, Canada, and some Asian counties. 

“Goldilocks has always been open to forging strategic partnerships with companies who share our vision and values, while helping us become an even more formidable brand both here and abroad. Over the years, several groups have been interested and as of now we have narrowed the list down,” Goldilocks President Richard L. Yee earlier said.

SMIC ended the first half of 2017 with a total of 2,357 stores, of which 1,709 are specialty retail stores. It also has 50 SM Supermarkets, 44 SM Hypermarkets, 170 Savemore stores, 21 Waltermart, 285 Alfamart stores, and 58 The SM Stores.

The company also has a total of 63 shopping malls in the country totaling 7.8 million square meters (sq.m.), with an additional 1.3 million sq.m. from China’s seven malls.