Hong Kong retail conglomerate Dairy Farm International has taken a half stake in Philippines-based grocery chains Rustan’s supermarkets and Shopwise hypermarkets.
Rustans Supercenters says the Tantoco family will retain its 50 per cent stake. The value of the transaction has not been revealed.
The statement said that the shareholder partnership with Dairy Farm will boost the company’s position as one of the country’s leading retailers: “Dairy Farm’s international expertise is expected to complement the Tantocos’ in-depth experience in Philippine retailing.”
Daily Farm, a part of the Jardine Matheson Group, has a strong balance sheet and its expertise in various retail formats – all attractive features for the Tantocos. Dairy Farm International owns the Giant supermarket and hypermarket brand in Asia with stores in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, and the upmarket wholefoods and organic grocer 360 in Hong Kong, amongst other retail brands.
Bienvenido Tantoco III of Rustans Supercenters will continue as CEO.
“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,” he said.
The Tantoco family operates department stores and supermarkets. It has diversified and consolidated its profile in the upscale market through partnerships which include such brand names as Marks & Spencer and Starbucks franchises and the luxury brand distributor, Store Specialists.
The partnership with Dairy Farm will boost the expansion of Rustan Supercenters and challenge the giant SM Group. Rustan’s supermarkets has 20 branches in Metro Manila and two in Cebu and enjoys strong business from affluent shoppers. The Shopwise chain has a similarly strong position among middle-income shoppers.
Dairy Farm is listed on the London Stock Exchange and, additionally, in Bermuda and Singapore. Annual sales exceeded US$10 billion in 2011. Its 5400 outlets include convenience stores, hypermarkets and supermarkets, home furnishings stores, health and beauty stores and restaurants.
Dairy Farm is well-known as a seller of good quality fresh foods in supermarkets. It already has a presence in Indonesia, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Macau Hong Kong, Taiwan and China.