ParknShop for sale
Hong Kong company Hutchison Whampoa plans to sell its supermarket chain ParknShop.
Hutchison Whampoa, led by Asia’s wealthiest man Li Ka-shing, is reported to have hired Goldman Sachs Group and Bank of America Merrill Lynch to manage the sale of its supermarket chain for as much as US$2 billion.
Reports say that the sale is part of the company’s strategy to trim assets to grow profits in difficult times. In 2011, it also sold its ports assets in Singapore which made a gain of US$5.7 billion.
Another reason behind the sale is the company’s plan to exit the grocery market which it described as ‘mature and growing slowly’. ParknShop had a market share of 33.1 per cent in 2012 in Hong Kong , where it competes fiercely with Dairy Farm International Holdings’ Wellcome, the leading supermarket chain with 39.8 per cent market share.
Hutchison Whampoa said it “hasn’t yet set a definite timetable for completion of its review and there be no assurances that the process will result in any transaction being announced or completed”.
The company, which also operates health and beauty chain AS Watson and electrical appliances store Fortress, said it has no plan to withdraw from the Hong Kong market.
Founded in 1973, ParknShop has 345 stores in Hong Kong, Macau and China.