MERRYMART Consumer Corp. has finalized its acquisition of a majority stake in ZC Ramthel Corp. or Cecile’s Pharmacy, which is said to be the biggest pharmacy chain in Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

In a stock exchange disclosure on Wednesday, MerryMart said it executed an agreement that finalized the acquisition of a 53.125% post-investment stake of the pharmacy.

According to the company, the Cecile’s Pharmacy chain will still be managed by its current management team in cooperation with MerryMart personnel.

“There are only very few drug store chains in the Philippines that has been operational for decades and still remain to be the market leader and the top-of-mind brand in their respective market region. Cecile’s Pharmacy chain is one of that select group that stood the test of time and we believe this acquisition will add great value to the MerryMart Group’s ecosystem,” MerryMart Chairman Edgar J. Sia II said.

MerryMart disclosed that it would acquire 25,000 secondary shares and 60,000 primary shares of Cecile’s Pharmacy, equivalent to a 53.125% stake. The remaining 46.875% stake in the pharmacy chain will be owned by the Saavedra family.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sia said the company is still targeting other merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities in the grocery and pharmacy segments.

“While the MerryMart Group continues on with its organic expansion, MerryMart will continue to keep its eyes open for M&A opportunities in both the grocery and pharmacy space that would accelerate its growth to capitalize on the continued consolidation from traditional to modern retail in the Philippines,” Mr. Sia said.

According to MerryMart, Cecile’s Pharmacy has been operating since 1964. It currently has 21 operational branches and employs 300 personnel.

“In addition to enhancing MerryMart’s trade volume in the pharmacy and prescription drug items, this transaction will bring significant improvement on cost efficiencies as MerryMart continues to strive to deliver better value to its customers and stakeholders,” MerryMart Chief Financial Officer Hannah Yulo-Luccini said.

On Wednesday, MerryMart shares at the local bourse rose 6.01% or 11 centavos to end at P1.94 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave