SM to seal deal with Cherry Foodarama in June

Rappler.com
The conglomerate is set to acquire majority interest in the pioneering grocery business

PIONEER. Owned by the Ong family, Cherry Foodarama has been in the business since the early 1950s and is considered one of the pioneers in the grocery business. Cherry Foodarama photo by KD Suarez/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Conglomerate SM Investments Corporation (SMIC) said it will sign the deal to acquire majority interest stake in Cherry Foodarama within this month.

Owned by the Ong family, Cherry Foodarama has been in the business since the early 1950s and is considered one of the pioneers in the grocery business.

 “We hope to sign the agreement sometime this month,” SM Investments co-vice chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson said in an interview at the sidelines of the Shareholders Association of the Philippines forum on Wednesday, June 24.

Sy, however, refused to divulge details of the transaction.

The Ong family will retain minority interest in the supermarket chain.

Sy stressed, though, that the company will not rebrand the supermarkets and instead will retain the name Cherry Foodarama for the 3 stores.

To date, only two of the supermarkets – Cherry Foodarama Congressional and Cherry Foodarama Antipolo – are operational.

It was reported that Cherry Foodarama Shaw was originally rescheduled to reopen in May at its original site also along Shaw Boulevard, but did not push through due to the entry of a new investor.

All Cherry Foodarama supermarkets will reportedly close down Thursday, June 25, to pave the way for the entry of new investor.

SM group’s purchase of Cherry Foodarama marks its second acquisition in 3 years.

In 2013, SMIC signed a 50:50 joint venture with the Waltermart group, through its subsidiaries SM Retail Incorporated and SM Prime Holdings Incorporated.

Despite increasing competition from other grocery chains such as Puregold Price Club Incorporated of Lucio Co, and Robinsons Retail Holdings Incorporated of the Gokongweis, SM group remains the biggest supermarket chain in the country.

SM’s retail operations had a total of 279 stores of as end-March 2015, including 50 SM Stores; 40 SM Supermarkets; 43 SM Hypermarkets; 120 Savemore stores; and 26 WalterMart stores.

For the rest of the year, SM’s retail group will open 3 SM Stores; 3 SM Supermarkets; 10 SaveMore stores; and one SM Hypermarket. – Rappler.com