Goldilocks bent on network expansion
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - February 6, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Goldilocks remains committed to expanding its network even as talks with the SM Group for a possible merger or acquisition bogged down, its top official said.

Goldilocks president Richard Yee said the company would continue to grow its network.

“We now have over 600 stores to serve our customers nationwide and we will continue this expansion in order to be more accessible to our customers,” Yee said.

Even as the talks did not push through, he said the SM Group’s interest in the company is a validation of Goldilocks’ efforts to strengthen its leadership position.

“To this end, we remain focused on our plans and strategies, which has allowed us to achieve double-digit growth in the past few years,” Yee said.

He thanked the SM Group for its interest in the company.

Last week, Goldilocks and SM jointly announced that talks for a possible acquisition wherein the SM Group will acquire the homegrown bakeshop and restaurant did not push through.

The Philippine Competition Commission (PCC), the government’s anti-trust body, which approved the transaction in December, said the parties decided not to pursue the deal.

“It’s a completely business decision on their part, we’re happy we went that far and they cooperated, SM presented their undertaking, but at the end of the day they decided not to continue their transaction,” PCC chairman Balisacan said.

For its part, SM cited “changes in the general business environment” as reasons for not pushing through with the talks.

“Regarding the proposed acquisition by SM Retail of Goldilocks, both SM and Goldilocks have jointly agreed not to pursue the transaction given changes in the general business environment,” SM said in a statement.

Both parties did not elaborate on the reasons for the collapse of the talks.

Had the transaction proceeded, Goldilocks would have been a subsidiary of SM Retail which is under SM Investments Corp. (SMIC).

SMIC, through SM Prime Holdings Inc. develops, owns and operates shopping malls around the Philippines. SMPHI operates close to 70 malls in the Philippines, while Goldilocks has a network of more than 500 stores, some of which operate in SM malls as well as 200 stores abroad.

It would have marked SM’s foray into a new retail format and for Goldilocks, it would have provided a big boost to the company’s expansion given SM’s wide footprint nationwide.

Goldilocks started in 1966 when Filipino-Chinese sisters Milagros Leelin Yee and Clarita Leelin Go and their sister in law Doris Wilson Leelin opened the company’s first store along Pasong Tamo in Makati.

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