SM, Waltermart in joint venture
SM enters into the joint venture deal through subsidiaries SM Retail and SM Prime Holdings

MANILA, Philippines – SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), the holding firm of mall tycoon Henry Sy, signed a joint venture deal with the Waltermart group to boost its retail business. 

SMIC told the Philippine Stock Exchange in a disclosure Monday, January 7, it entered into an agreement with Waltermart through subsidiaries SM Retail Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc.

It did not provide details of the agreement.

SM Prime CFO Jeffrey Lim said in a text message that the agreement is still subject to due diligence.

“We have signed [the] joint venture with Waltermart subject to due diligence and further negotiations,” Lim said.

Owned by the Lim family, Waltermart is engaged in the shopping mall and supermarket business. It has 17 malls located in Metro Manila, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga and Nueva Ecija.

Aside from Waltermart, the Lim family also owns Abenson, a chain of appliance stores with over 75 outlets nationwide; concept store Avant, which carries the latest high-end technology products currently available in the market; Electroworld; and Home Plus.

The SM Retail group has a total of 193 retail stores, consisting of 46 SM department stores, 37 SM supermarkets, 34 SM hypermarkets and 76 SaveMore stores.

The joint venture deal was forged amid stiff competition from Lucio Co-owned Puregold Price Club Inc., which plans to expand its stores to 200 by 2014.

Puregold president Leonardo Dayao said the company is planning to open 25 stores this year, and another 25 stores next year. –

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