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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Robinsons to re-brand Rustan’s grocery chain

GOKONGWEI-led Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI) said it will re-brand the Rustan’s grocery chain that it is acquiring from pan-Asian retailer Dairy Farm International Holdings Limited.

RRHI issued the clarification in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, April 12, after the Tantoco family issued a statement asserting that the trademark “Rustan’s” is owned by Rustan Commercial Corporation (RCC).

The Tantoco family owns RCC, which has operated the Rustan’s department stores for over seven decades.

The family also used to own Rustan Supercenters Inc. (RSCI), operator of Rustan’s Supermarket, Shopwise and Wellcome brands.

RSCI, which uses the trademark Rustan’s under license from RCC, was fully acquired by Dairy Farm in 2017.

“RRHI understands that Rustan Supercenters Inc. (RSCI) currently operates ‘Rustan’s’ supermarkets under license from Rustan Commercial Corporation (RCC), and such license agreement currently remains in full force and effect. Should the license agreement be validly terminated by RCC, RSCI will re-brand such stores to other premium brand alternatives,” RRHI said.

RRHI is acquiring the Rustan’s grocery chain under a share-swap agreement with Dairy Farm.

The transaction is targeted to be completed in six months and requires the approval of RRHI’s stockholders and the Philippine Competition Commission.

Under the agreement, the Gokongwei-led company will acquire the 100-percent stake in RSCI of Dairy Farm subsidiary Mulgrave Corporation BV valued at P18 billion.

Dairy Farm, through Mulgrave, will in turn acquire a total of 18.25-percent shareholdings of RRHI.

Read: Dairy Farm strengthens presence in Philippines

RSCI operated 12 hypermarkets and 61 supermarkets as of end-2017, with estimated total sales of P22 billion.

RRHI, meanwhile, reported sales of P115 billion in 2017 from 1,718 stores in the Philippines, including 154 supermarkets. (Marites Villamor-Ilano)
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