Fri, Dec 20, 2013 - Page 14 News List

President Chain Store Corp plans to sell stake in Muji

By Kevin Chen  /  Staff reporter

President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), Taiwan’s largest convenience store operator, yesterday announced that its board approved a plan to sell the company’s shares in Muji (Taiwan) Co (台灣無印良品), its joint venture with Japan-based retail giant Ryohin Keikaku Co.

In a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange, the company said it would sell all of its 16.52 million shares in Muji to the Japanese firm for NT$1.45 billion (US$48.4 million), or NT$87.8 per share.

LARGE GAINS

President Chain, which controls the 7-Eleven convenience store chain in Taiwan, said it expects to make NT$1.051 billion from the share sale, which is expected to be finalized on Jan. 6, according to the filing.

President Chain and Ryohin Keikaku set up the Muji venture in 2003 with NT$100 million in initial capital, and the share agreement will mark the end of the two companies’ lucrative 10-year partnership in the home furnishings market.

SOLE OWNERSHIP

Under the planned deal, the Taiwanese firm would sell its 51 percent stake in Muji (Taiwan) to its Japanese partner, meaning that Ryohin Keikaku would be fully in charge of Muji's Taiwan operation from next year.

Muji specializes in home furnishings, kitchenware and stationery and has 29 stores in the country.

Last year, the Taiwanese-Japanese venture reported a total revenue of NT$2.44 billion with a net profit of NT$137 million, or NT$4.99 per share, according to President Chain.

Meanwhile, the board yesterday also approved a proposal for Uni-President Enterprise Co (統一企業) chairman Alex Lo (羅智先) to assume the chairmanship of President Chain from his father-in-law, Kao Ching-yuan (高清愿).

RESIGNATION

Kao tendered his resignation on Nov. 12 after decades at the top of the country’s food sector. Since then, Lo has taken over the chairmanship from the 84-year-old Kao at other subsidiaries, including Uni-President China Holding Co (統一中控) and Ton Yi Industrial Corp (統一實業).

STOCK MARKET BOOST

Shares of President Chain moved up 0.74 percent to close at NT$204.5 yesterday.

They have risen 31.51 percent so far this year, outperforming the TAIEX, which has increased 9.19 percent over the same period.

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