(Source: Business Mirror, by VG Cabuag | Aug. 2, 2015)
Starmalls Inc., the shopping-center development arm of the Villar group, will do a follow-on offering next year even to expand its mall portfolio in the country.
The company’s Chairman Manuel Villar said proceeds of the follow-on offering will be used to fund its expected P26-billion expenditures over the next three years for its aggressive expansion.
“We haven’t discussed the details yet, but we’re really preparing for an offering for Starmalls next year to fund our expansion. So, we will be raising some cash,” Villar said at the sidelines of All Home opening in Las Piñas.
All Home is the retail arm of a privately held firm of the Villar family.
“We will be opening three new branches this year in Taguig City, Bataan and Santa Rosa [Laguna]. Next year, we will be putting up another five malls. Typically, the investment for each mall is about P1.5 billion to P2 billion,” Villar said.
The firm is also planning to put up five to eight malls in 2017. By then, this will include branches outside Luzon, particularly in the cities of Cebu and Iloilo in the Visayas.
By the end of the year, Starmalls will have a total of 18 malls, 23 malls by 2016 and up to 31 malls by the end of 2017 as part of its long-term vision to venture in community malls and create regional super centers across the Philippines.
Villar noted that the firm is not only focusing on the number of malls, but also the size of each mall as most of the new malls will have 50,000 to 60,000 square meters of leasable space.
Starmalls expansion complements the expansion of the Villar group’s new retail businesses, which now includes All Home, All-Day convenience stores, as well as a new supermarket chain.
At the moment, all of these firms are not folded in any of the Villar-controled listed firms, but he said all of these will be listed in a few years.
“We are expanding our retail group and mall group at the same time,” Villar said. Villar said Starmalls is raising the level of the Filipino malls by building bigger quality malls with a more dynamic tenant mix, beautiful, themed interiors with wider retail and service offerings and exteriors inspired by international commercial shopping centers.
Recently, the firm has launched its first upscale Starmall Prima branch in Taguig City, which is aimed at the middle to upper segments of the consumer market.