Sial Specialty Retailers Inc., a joint venture of Ayala Land Inc. and SSI Stores Inc. of the Tantoco group, has sold two department stores under the Wellworth brand to Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. for an undisclosed amount.
Ayala Land and SSI said in separate disclosures to the stock exchange Sial Specialty had signed a deed of absolute sale with Metro Retail of Gaisano group to sell two Wellworth department stores at Fairview Terraces and UP Town Center in Quezon City.
Metro Retail said in a separate disclosure the transaction would enable it to expand its network of department stores in these two key locations, by a combined gross floor area of 25,000 square meters.
Ayala Land and SSI formed a 50:50 joint venture partnership in 2014 to develop a new department store concept under the Wellworth brand.
Wellworth is a mid-market department store that carries a wide array of international and local brands like F&F, Le Tigre, Savile Row and Forme. It also has its own private brands for all ages.
Sial earlier targeted to open three department stores every year over the next five years.
Aside from Sial, Ayala Land and SSI are also joint venture partners alongside with Itochu group, in the convenience store business through FamilyMart.
Metro Retail, which was listed with the Philippine Stock Exchange last year, is the largest department store and hypermarket operator in the Visayas region.
Metro Retail raised P3.62 billion in fresh capital from an initial public offering last year and plans to double its retail business by opening 50 to 70 stores over the next five years.
Metro Retail chairman and chief executive Frank Gaisano said the company was ready to compete with other retail players and had mapped out plans to maintain its position as the largest retailer in the Visayas.
Metro Retail has 400,000 square meters of gross floor area across 46 stores, mostly in the Visayas.
Metro Retail said it was also looking at mergers and acquisitions to accelerate growth and plans to venture in Mindanao by 2017 or 2018.