Puregold creates equity investments vehicle for food retail business

Listed wholesale-retail network Puregold Price Club Inc. said Wednesday it is putting up a new subsidiary for its equity investments in other retail businesses to strengthen its foothold in the supermarket industry.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Puregold on Wednesday said it is establishing subsidiary Estenso Equities Inc., which "will house investments of Puregold Price Club Inc. to other food retail-related activities."

Puregold president Leonard Dayao said Estenso Equities will be Puregold's equity investment vehicle in food retail.

"We are on the lookout to identify food retail businesses to invest in. We have discussions on-going but nothing is final yet," he told GMA News Online.

"Unlike S&R, Parco, Grocer E and Eunilane, which are wholly-owned by Puregold, we will use the company to invest in equities in other supermarkets and groceries," Dayao added.

In January, Puregold said it will buy 100 percent of Company E Corporation, which owns 11 Grocer E supermarts and four Eunilane foodmarts in Metro Manila and Calabarzon area. The acquisition is in line with its goal of having 200 outlets by 2015.

In June 2012, the retailer paid cash for all the outstanding shares of the Gant Group, which owns 19 Parco supermarkets.

On May 8, 2012, Puregold shareholders approved the acquisition of 100 percent equity interest in Kareila Management Corp. which then owned the S&R warehouse membership clubs.

In the first quarter, Puregold reported a 105.2 percent jump in net income to P962 million from P469 million a year earlier, boosted by acquisitions and new stores.

Consolidated net sales reached P16.1 billion, up 49.8 percent from to P10.7 billion in the same comparable period. — VS, GMA News

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