• Gaisanos’ Metro group buys Wellworth stores

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    HOMEGROWN Metro Retail Sales Group Inc. (MRSGI) has bought mid-market Wellworth Department Stores from property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and joint venture partner, retail leader SSI Group Inc.

    In separate disclosures to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, the three listed firms said MRSGI has entered into a deed of absolute sale with SIAL Specialty Retailers Inc., a 50-50 joint venture of ALI and SSI, to acquire store assets of the latter’s two department stores at the Fairview Terraces Mall and UP Town Center, both in Quezon City.

    The firms did not say a definite acquisition cost, but SSI President Anthony Huang noted that the value of the assets sold is less than five percent of the book value of SSI.

    SSI said the sale includes the fixed assets and equipment used in the operations of the two acquired stores.

    MRSGI said as partial payment for the deal, it has spent a total of P124.7 million out of the net proceeds of its initial public offering late last year.

    “The transaction will allow MRSGI to expand its network of department stores in these two key locations by a combined total gross floor area of approximately 25,000 square meters,” the company said.

    Founded by couple Victor and Sally Gaisano from Cebu, MRSGI has been in the market for 33 years, mutating from Gaisano Metro to Metro Gaisano to its present name.

    With three formats—department store, supermarket, and hypermart—the homegrown retail firm said it now has 47 stores with over 9,000 employees and foot traffic of over 250,000 shoppers daily.

    The three firms noted that MRSGI is the largest department store and hypermarket operator in terms of retail value sales in the Visayas.

    Wellworth Department Store was first opened in May 2014 in Fairview Terraces Mall and later in the U.P. Town Center, both developments of ALI.

    Wellworth was meant to be part of ALI’s mixed-use developments.

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