Cosco acquires NE Pacific
Cosco Capital Inc. led by retailer Lucio Co has continued its expansion into other retailing formats outside of flagship Puregold Price Club Inc. with a deal to acquire the largest mall in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday, Cosco announced a deal to acquire 100 percent of NE Pacific Shopping Centers, which is partly owned by infrastructure holding firm Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).
MPIC said in a separate disclosure that it had sold all of its shares in NE Pacific, representing 36.89 percent of the issued and outstanding capital stock, to Cosco.
The stake in NE Pacific, MPIC said, was part of its non-core assets. Cosco also acquired the remaining shares from the other shareholders.
NE Pacific Mall, the first large commercial mall in Cabanatuan City, has a gross floor area of over 35,000 square meters (sqms) and sits on a close to 10-hectare lot. It has a leasable area of over 23,000 sqms with a tenant base of over 400 retailers comprising of fashion outlets, fast food chains, specialty shops, supermarket, appliance center, game arcades, banks, government satellite offices and three cinemas.
“The acquisition is expected to contribute to the growth of Cosco as it expands its real estate retail leasing portfolio. It is in line with the objective of Cosco to continually strengthen its source of sustainable recurring income,” the company said in a statement.
Cosco said this mall had ample parking space, located within the city proper and accessible to public transport and terminals.
The company noted that NE Pacific Mall was considered the most popular mall in Cabanatuan City, in turn the largest city and the economic and financial center of Nueva Ecija.
Co’s holding firm also recently announced a deal to take over office and school products supplier Office Warehouse Inc. as part of its expansion into non-food specialty retailing.
Office Warehouse, which has about 47 stores, is the biggest retailing platform of the Lorenzana family.
Cosco is expanding into specialty retail as differentiated from its heavy engagement in the food retail represented by Puregold as part of its bid to broaden its market base.
Once a purely oil, gas and mining firm called Alcorn Gold Resources Corp., Cosco was transformed by Co into a holding firm for the bulk of his businesses.
The assets injected into this company consisted of the following: 51 percent stake in the country’s second largest grocery operator Puregold, an array of liquor distribution companies, a portfolio of commercial real estate companies and an oil storage business (Pure Petroleum Corp.).
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