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SM nears Walter Mart deal

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Posted on Aug. 10, 2013 at 12:03am |
SM Prime Holdings Inc. expects to complete the acquisition of Walter Mart Malls in September, a company executive said Friday.
SM Prime chief finance officer Jeffrey Lim said the company was set to acquire 51 percent of Walter Mart Malls, which operates 17 community malls.  The two parties are discussing the final cost of the acquisition, according to Lim.
Walter Mart operates 17 shopping centers in Central Luzon, Metro Manila and Calabarzon.
SM Retail earlier completed the acquisition of a 51-percent stake in Walter Mart Supermarket for P3.57 billion.  Walter Mart Supermarket is now a subsidiary of SM Retail, after the transaction was completed, based on the filing of SM with the stock exchange.
SM Prime and SM Retail signed joint venture agreement with the Walter Mart Group of Companies in January to boost the group’s retail business, which is facing stiff competition from the aggressive expansion of Puregold Price Club Inc. of taipan Lucio Co.
Walter Mart, owned by the Lim family, is the first community shopping center format in Southern Luzon. Its 17 community malls are strategically located in Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.
The Lim family also owns Abenson, a chain of appliance stores with over 75 outlets nationwide.  It owns a concept store called Avant, which carries the latest high-end technology products currently available in the market, as well as Electroworld and Home Plus.
SM Retail has 229 retail stores, consisting of 46 SM department stores, 37 SM supermarkets, 38 SM hypermarkets, 86 SaveMore stores and 21 Waltermart supermarkets as of end-June.
SM Retail’s revenues grew 6.4 percent to P83.6 billion in the first half from P73.8 billion in the same period last year, following the acquisition of Waltermart Supermarket and opening of new stores.
The non-food group accounted for 40.9 percent of SM Retail’s first half sales while the food group contributed the remaining 59.1 percent.
SM Retail plans to add more one department store, one supermarket, 11 SaveMore branches and six hypermarkets in the second half.

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