Sy group won’t control SM-Waltermart venture
The Waltermart Group, headed by the Lim family, will manage that joint venture with the SM group, says SMIC vice chair Teresita Sy-Coson

MANILA, Philippines – The Sy group will not push for management control of the upcoming venture between its malls unit and the Waltermart Group.

“It is a 50-50 (partnership). They will do the management,” Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairperson of mall and banking conglomerate SM Investments Corp. (SMIC) told reporters on January 18 on the sidelines of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Annual Bankers’ Night.

Sy-Coson added that the two families have previously worked as tenants and land holders. The upcoming partnership is meant to expand the reach of Waltermart network in the Philippines.

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 joint venture deal, announced in January 7, is meant to boost SM group’s retail business. SMIC’s SM mall network is the biggest in the Philippines.

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. –

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