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Henderson Land to buy FamilyMart Uny stores

Property developer Henderson Land plans to acquire the Hong Kong unit of FamilyMart Uny, Japan’s second-largest convenience store chain, for HK$300 million (US$38 million) through an investment subsidiary.

Uny (HK) owns and runs three outlets in the city – described as hybrids of merchandise stores and supermarkets – under the brand names Apita, Uny and Piago, respectively in Taikoo Shing, Lok Fu and Kowloon Bay. It also owns a discount store Watashi to Seikatsu in North Point, which will be closed when its lease runs out in September.

Henderson Investment runs the Citistore department store chain, which it acquired for $934.5 million from its parent company in 2014.

According to Henderson Investment, a subsidiary of Henderson Land Development, the acquisition should strengthen the company’s position in the local retail market, expand its store coverage to Hong Kong Island and enhance its reach to the city’s middle-class households.

The companies expect to complete the transaction by the end of this month, after which Henderson will be granted the use of certain trademarks of Uny for 10 years.

Uny’s Hong Kong stores have been active for about 30 years with a focus on offering Japanese food and fresh produce. Uny HK reported a net income of $31 million in the fiscal year ending in November, down 22.5 per cent year on year.

Meanwhile, NHK World Japan reports that FamilyMart Uny is withdrawing from overseas markets as it seeks to restructure its business at home. It will use the proceeds from its Hong Kong deal to renovate stores in Japan.

Uny’s parent company merged with convenience store chain FamilyMart in 2016. It also teamed up with discount shop Don Quijote.

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