VILLAR-LED Starmalls, Inc. is changing its name to Vistamalls, Inc., aligning itself with parent Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc.’s (VLL) mall expansion.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, the mall operator said its shareholders have approved its plan to change the company’s name to Vistamalls, Inc.

The company will file the amendment with the Securities and Exchange Commission for final approval.

Incorporated in 1969, Starmalls was folded into the Villar group in 2015 when VLL agreed to buy 88.34% of the company’s shares for about P33.54 billion.

The listed firm operates malls in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Imus, Cavite; Balanga, Bataan; Taguig, Alabang, and along EDSA-Shaw Boulevard, among others. VLL President and Chief Executive Officer Manuel Paolo A. Villar earlier said that they have plans to renovate various Starmalls branches in the following years.

At the parent level, VLL is targeting to have 60 malls by 2020. It ended 2018 with a total of 31 malls, 52 commercial centers, and seven office buildings, covering a total of 1.4 million square meters in gross floor area.

The company also said it has commercial centers that are currently under construction in Taguig City, Las Piñas City, Pampanga, Cavite, Davao, Iloilo, Naga, Cagayan de Oro, and Iloilo, which are scheduled to be completed by 2020.

Starmalls booked a net income attributable to the parent of P651 million in the first quarter of 2019, 13% higher year on year. This came after a 15% increase in revenues to P1.77 billion in the same period.

The company attributed the positive performance to higher occupancy and rental rates of its existing malls, as well as the additional gross floor area of new commercial assets at the time.

Shares in Starmalls jumped 5.25% or 33 centavos to close at P6.62 each at the stock exchange on Monday. — Arra B. Francia