• Cosco firms up presence as retail conglomerate

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    The Lucio Co-led Cosco Capital Inc. intends to firm up presence as a focused retail conglomerate with expansion activities in all of its units, after raising P16.8 billion through a share placement on Friday.

    Leonardo Dayao, president of Cosco Capital, said in a briefing held on Friday that the bulk of the proceeds from the share placement, which generated as high as $400 million, or P16.8 billion, is planned for the expansion of the company.

    “Cosco Capital will be a focused retail conglomerate. We would like to expand it,” he said.

    Dayao, who also sits as the president of Puregold Price Club Inc., a Cosco Capital subsidiary, added that of the P16.8-billion proceeds, 50 percent will be used mainly for the expansion of the supermarket chain.

    “Fifty percent will be used to expand the selling area of Puregold-anchored commercial real-estate properties, and increase the capacity of Pure Petroleum oil and petroleum storage,” he said.

    “Community malls will house Puregold and other tenants, including even in-house nonfood retail tenants,” Dayao added.

    A small portion of the proceeds from the placement, meanwhile, will be used for the company’s acquisition of nonfood retail businesses such as hardware stores, appliances and pharmacies, among others.

    The Co family has acquired private pharmacy chain 360 Pharmacy, which is under incubation to bring it up to scale and improve efficiency. More than 70 branches of 360 Pharmacy branches are located in Cebu, Bohol and Masbate, Dayao said.

    “On three counts, we’d like to see its profitability stabilize, its operations efficiency improve and scale,” he said, adding that Cosco will eventually list it in the local bourse.

    Meanwhile, 20 percent of the proceeds will be used for debt payments. In a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange, Cosco Capital said that the price per share for the placing tranche and subscription tranche was at P10.50.

    Besides retailing, the company is also involved in the real estate, petroleum and liquor business.

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