Double Dragon to focus on community malls

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 17 2014 07:54 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2014 03:54 PM

MANILA - DoubleDragon Properties Corp., the soon-to-be-listed property firm of Mang Inasal founder Edgar “Injap” Sia II and Jollibee Foods owner Tony Tan Caktiong, is jumpstarting this year its P24-billion program to become the largest community malls chain in the Philippines, its top official said.

The company aims to have one million square meters (sqm) of leasable space by 2020.

“DoubleDragon aims to reach one million sqm. of total leasable space portfolio by 2020, of which 700,000 sqm. is expected to come from the planned 100 CityMall community malls,” DoubleDragon chairman and CEO Edgar “Injap” Sia II told The STAR.

Around 150,000 sqm. is expected to come from three office buildings in business districts in Metro Manila and the remaining 150,000 sqm. are for full- or regional-size shopping malls formats, Sia said.

DoubleDragon will become the first company to debut in the local bourse this year through an initial public offering (IPO). It will raise as much as P1.16 billion through a public share sale facilitated by BDO Capital & Investment Corp., Unicapital Inc. and RCBC Capital Corp.

The property firm, through subsidiary CityMall Commercial Centers Inc. (CCCI), will launch 100 CityMall branches nationwide, mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“We have the first mover advantage,” Sia said, adding that the community malls built in Luzon in the past two years are independent and owned by numerous families.

CityMall, which will offer 5,000-10,000 sqm. of leasing area, will become the first large-scale and branded community mall in the country, Sia said.

Under the expansion program, 70 CityMalls will be put up in land acquired by DoubleDragon while the remaining 30 branches are under long-term lease and joint venture with existing malls.

“We are also looking at the possibility of acquiring or doing a joint venture with existing community malls,” Sia said.

CityMall will expand rapidly in the next three years, in line with the fast growth of grocery chains Robinsons Supermarket, Savemore, Puregold, Wellcome and Super 8, Sia said.

Last month, mall and banking conglomerate SM Investments Corp. acquired 34 percent of CCCI while DoubleDragon retained a 66-percent stake and the management control.

“With the SM Group, we think before five years we will be able to complete 100 CityMalls already,” Sia said.

The P23.75-billion capital requirement for the 100 CityMall branches will be funded by the proceeds from the IPO, bonds and bank loans, Sia said.

The office portfolio, for its part, will complete the offerings of DoubleDragon.

“We are looking at three business districts: Ortigas and two other. This year, we intend to launch the first [office building],” Sia said.

DoubleDragon is positioned as a hybrid property and consumer play. The resilience of the consumer sector will benefit CityMall while residential projects like the 30-storey W.H. Taft Residences just beside De La Salle University is banking on strong demand, Sia said.

In the medium term, recurring income through the office towers and CityMall will account for 70 percent of earnings, Sia said. In 2013, DoubleDragon’s net income jumped 32 percent to P126.63 million from P92.48 million, almost entirely coming from residential sales.

DoubleDragon was initially created as Injap Land Corp., the real estate arm of Injap Investments Inc., in 2009. In July 2012, it was renamed DoubleDragon as it became a 50-50 joint venture with Tan Caktiong.

DoubleDragon plans to be one of the largest property developer in the country by 2020. This entails becoming one of the top 10 real estate firms in terms of net income and revenues.