(Source: Manila Standard Today | by Jenniffer B. Austria | June 15, 2015)
SM Investments Corp.’s acquisition of Cherry Foodarama’s supermarkets is a done deal, with the signing of the financial transaction with the Ong family set to be completed “very soon,” a source said Monday.
“It will be completed very soon,” an informed source told The Standard, without providing additional information so as not to jeopardize the deal. Cherry Foodarama, a company owned by the Ong family, is a pioneer in the Philippine retail industry.
The source said SM Investments was being careful in proceeding with the transaction, as Cherry Foodarama is a family-owned business.
SM Investments expressed hope it would be able to get the nod of the whole Ong family on the deal.
SM Investments last week confirmed The Standard report it was in discussion with the management of Cherry Foodarama.
“SM and subsidiaries are in discussion with the management of Cherry and both parties are in the process of signing formal agreements,” SM Investments said.
Only two of Cherry Foodarama’s supermarkets are operational, including Cherry Foodarama Congressional in Quezon City and Cherry Foodarama Antipolo.
‘Cherry Foodarama Shaw was originally rescheduled to reopen at its original site also along Shaw Boulevard in May but it did not push through reportedly because of the entry of a new investor.
Another source said the Cherry Foodarama stores would be under new management starting June 26.
Concessionaires and tenants at Cherry Foodarama stores were also reportedly given until June 19 to pull out their products.
Despite increasing competition from other grocery chains such as Puregold Price Club Inc. of Lucio Co and Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. , SM group remains the biggest supermarket chain in the country.
SM’s retail operations had a total of 279 stores of as end-March 2015, including 50 SM Stores, 40 SM Supermarkets, 43 SM Hypermarkets, 120 Savemore stores and 26 WalterMart stores.
For the rest of 2015, SM’s retail group will open 3 SM Stores, 3 SM Supermarkets, 10 SaveMore stores and 1 SM Hypermarket.
SM group’s purchase of Cherry Foodarama marks its second acquisition in three years. In 2013, SM Investments signed a 50:50 joint venture with the Waltermart group through its subsidiaries SM Retail Inc. and SM Prime Holdings Inc.
Cherry Foodarama has been in the business since the early 1950s and is considered one of the pioneers in the grocery business.