RRHI hikes stake in Ministop PHL as Mitsubishi Corp. exits venture

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ROBINSONS Retail Holdings, Inc. is planning to open 20 to 30 Ministop stores this year.

By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

ROBINSONS Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI) has tightened its grip on the chain of Ministop convenience stores in the company, as Mitsubishi Corp. exited the venture.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Monday, the Gokongwei-led retailer said its wholly-owned unit Robinson’s, Inc. will purchase Mitsubishi Corp.’s 161.05 million shares in Robinsons Convenience Stores, Inc. (RCSI), equivalent to an eight percent stake in the exclusive master franchisee of Ministop in the country.

The transaction raised RRHI’s effective ownership in RCSI to 59.1% from 51%. The company did not disclose the deal’s value due to a non-disclosure agreement.

Mitsubishi also unloaded its remaining four percent stake to Japan-based partner Ministop Co., Ltd., which hiked the latter’s stake to 40.9%.

Robinson’s, Inc. and Mitsubishi have entered into a share purchase agreement for the transaction.

“We remain fully committed in keeping and growing our convenience store business. The CVS format is the fastest growing retail channel in the region and we intend to take advantage of this trend,” RRHI President and Chief Executive Officer Robina Y. Gokongwei-Pe was quoted as saying in a statement.

RRHI partnered with Mitsubishi and Ministop Co., Ltd. back in 2000 to establish Ministop in the Philippines. Aside from a wide assortment of merchandise, the 24-hour convenience store also features an in-house kitchen facility for its freshly-prepared meals.

Ministop reported P4.5 billion in system-wide sales for the first six months of 2018, with P3 billion in merchandise sales.

RRHI currently operates 492 Ministop branches in key areas in Metro Manila, Luzon, and Visayas. Ms. Gokongwei-Pe earlier said there are plans to open 20 to 30 convenience stores this year.

This forms part of the company’s planned spending of P3.5 billion this year to finance the opening of 100 to 120 new stores. Aside from convenience stores, RRHI has scheduled to open 13 supermarkets, three department stores, 10 to 15 do-it-yourself (DIY) stores, 25 to 30 South Star Drug stores, and 30 to 35 specialty stores.

On top of this, RRHI will also open 100 new franchised stores from The Generics Pharmacy (TGP).

By end-June, RRHI had a total of 1,742 stores in its network, excluding the franchised brands of TGP. Its portfolio includes Handyman Do It Best, True Value, Toys R Us, Ministop, Daiso Japan, Costa Coffee, Savers Appliances, and South Star Drug.

RRHI’s net income attributable to the parent grew 14.9% to P2.62 billion in the first six months of 2018, following a 13% increase in revenues to P60.46 billion. The company’s same store sales growth stood at 6.5% for the period.

Shares in RRHI rose 40 centavos or 0.49% to close at P89 each at the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday.