Tantocos sell half of Rustans Supercenters’ stakeBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Tantoco family has sold half of its stake in upscale grocery chains Shopwise and Rustan’s Supermarkets to Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd., a Pan-Asia retailing group affiliated with the Hong Kong-based Jardine Matheson conglomerate.
In a statement on Monday, the Tantocos’ privately held Rustans Supercenters Inc. (RSCI) announced that it had taken in Dairy Farm as a new shareholder with a 50-percent stake, with the remaining 50 percent being retained by the family.
RSCI operates the Shopwise chain of hypermarkets and Rustan’s Supermarkets.
While sharing ownership of the family’s grocery business, Bienvenido Tantoco III remains chief executive officer and president of RSCI.
The value of the deal was not disclosed.
“We are extremely pleased to be partners with the Dairy Farm Group,” Tantoco said. “This undertaking will not only strengthen RSCI’s position as a leading retailer in the country, but it will also translate to more employment for Filipinos, more value and choices for customers, and enhanced shareholder value.”
The entry of Dairy Farm is expected to strengthen RSCI’s position as one of the country’s leading retailers, the company statement said.
“RSCI will benefit from Dairy Farm’s extensive pan-Asian operations, its expertise in various retail formats, strong balance sheet, and its membership in the Jardine Matheson Group,” the statement said. “Dairy Farm’s international expertise is expected to complement the Tantocos’ in-depth experience in Philippine retailing.”
Founded in 1970, Rustan’s Supermarket operates 20 branches in Metro Manila and two in Cebu, according to the company’s website.
For the Shopwise chain, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing for “Shopwise Inc.” shows a parent company with P1.64 billion in total assets.
As of end-2011, Dairy Farm operates over 5,400 outlets and has total annual sales exceeding $10 billion.
It operates supermarkets, hypermarkets, health and beauty stores, convenience stores, home furnishings stores and restaurants under well-known brands.
It is listed on the London Stock Exchange with secondary listings in Bermuda and Singapore.
The Jardine Matheson group’s interests include Jardine Pacific, Jardine Motors, Jardine Lloyd Thompson, Hongkong Land, Dairy Farm, Mandarin Oriental, Jardine Cycle & Carriage and Astra International.
These companies are leaders in the fields of engineering and construction, transport services, insurance, property investment and development, retailing, restaurants, luxury hotels, motor vehicles and related activities, financial services, heavy equipment, mining and agribusiness.
The group also has a minority investment in Rothschilds Continuation, the global financial advisory group.
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