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Villar group sets P175-B capex for next 3 years

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Vista Land Chairman Manuel B. Villar heads the Vista Land briefing at the Mandarin hotel, Makati, in this file photo taken on November 12, 2013. BW FILE PHOTO

THE VILLAR GROUP of companies is accelerating its capital spending to P175 billion in the next three years, targeting to boost the growth of its businesses in real estate, leasing, retail, hospitality, and education.

The massive capital expenditure budget will support tycoon Manuel B. Villar, Jr.’s vision of establishing his property business as one of the major players by 2020, in addition to building his retail brands.

Companies under the Villar group include Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. (VLL), Starmalls, Inc., Golden Haven, Inc., all three of which are listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange, and All Value Holdings, Corp., which serves as the holding firm for his retail businesses.

“We are very bullish in the coming year as we take advantage of the various collaborations among our companies in addition to the sustained sound Philippine macroeconomic fundamentals,” Mr. Villar told reporters in Las Piñas last Dec. 19.

Around 60% of the capex will fund the company’s real estate expansion, while the rest will go to the leasing and retail businesses. Of the P175 billion capex, Mr. Villar said P50 billion will be spent in 2018.

For VLL, Mr. Villar said the company will push expansion to the provinces as he expects a “reverse migration” phenomenon given the government’s plans to develop areas outside Metro Manila. This expansion will help boost profit and revenues grow by 12-15% annually.




To date, VLL is present in 132 cities and municipalities and 46 provinces around the Philippines.

To complement VLL’s residential business, the listed firm has committed to expand the Villar-led Georgia Academy, now with three branches, to 13 next year.

The property company will also be developing six hotels in the next three years, five of which will carry the Hotel Mella brand. Mr. Villar identified Boracay, Tagaytay, Bataan, and Cebu as the locations for the hotel. A branded hotel to be developed with a partner is also set to rise in Evia, VLL’s property in Las Piñas.

For Golden Haven, the company plans to acquire more land for memorial parks. At present, it has 14 memorial parks — a figure which it hopes to double in the next three years.

“We are going big in memorial parks. We aim to have one in every city where we have Camella Homes,” Mr. Villar said, referring to one of the residential brands under VLL.

Recently, Golden Haven diversified into the mass housing sector by taking over the operations of another Villar-led company, Bria Homes, Inc. The P3.01-billion acquisition will mark the company’s entry into housing development.

Meanwhile, Starmalls will be increasing its number of malls to 60 in the next three years, from the current 22.

Mr. Villar is bullish on his retail business, which comprises home improvement chain AllHome, All Day Supermarket, All Day Convenience Store, Coffee Project, and bakery Bake My Day.

The Villar group will be increasing the number of All Day Supermarket branches to 26 in 2018, from the current count of 13. The public will also see a total of 100 branches of All Day Convenience stores next year, from just 72 in 2017. Around 10 to 12 AllHome depot stores will likewise be added in 2018, for a total of 26 to 28.

Coffee Project, meanwhile, will be present in around 45 to 50 locations by next year.

“There are now 22 branches of Coffee Project. Next year, we hope to make it to 45 to 50. So we will add 23 to 28 more. We now have 15 to 20 identified locations, including Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, and Naga,” Mr. Villar said. — Arra B. Francia

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