Philippines: Antitrust body approves SM Retail’s acquisition of Goldilocks Bakeshop

Visual from SM Investments' website

SM Retail Inc, a subsidiary of Philippine Stock Exchange-listed SM Investment Corp (SMIC), has received approval from the country’s antitrust body to acquire Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc., a major bakeshop chain in the country.

In a statement, the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) said it has approved the acquisition by SM Retail of Goldilocks after the two parties submitted their commitment to address potential competition issues in the deal.

Among the potential concerns that were addressed by both parties was the possibility that there might be limited supply of retail space in SM Malls for Goldilocks’ competition.

There were also concerns that SM Retail might get access to and share competition’s sales information with Goldilocks.

“While selection of tenants in a mall is market-driven and based on consumer preferences, a mall operator should not be allowed to discriminate mall tenants and lease applicants, especially those that compete with stores owned by the mall itself,” said PCC Chairman Arsenio M. Balisacan.

SMIC, through another subsidiary, SM Prime Holdings Inc (SMPHI), operates close to 70 SM Malls in the Philippines. Goldilocks, on the other hand, has a network of more than 500 stores, some of which operate in SM Malls.

After the acquisition, Goldilocks will become a subsidiary of SM Retail.

In its voluntary commitment, which the PCC approved in a decision issued last December 29, 2017, SMPHI undertook to give Goldilocks’ competitors a “fair share in their lease at all times”.

SMPHI also committed to data protection; that is, the mall operator will not give Goldilocks access to competing mall tenants’ information, including sales data captured by the POS system of SMPHI tenants, whether referring to consolidated sales, product category level or stock keeping unit (SKU) level information, such as prices or quantities sold.

“The Commission appreciates SM’s move to make these voluntary undertakings – proof that PCC and the business community can work together to promote a culture of competition,” Balisacan said.

The SM Group is also legally obliged to comply with its commitment and submit reports to the PCC. Over a period of five years, the parties will be monitored periodically by a team of experts from PCC. The monitoring will also include random inspections, the commission added.

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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