Puregold plans to hire 3,557 workers

By Emeterio Sd. Perez, BusinessMirror

Posted at Apr 13 2012 07:15 AM | Updated as of Apr 13 2012 07:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Puregold Club Inc., the listed retail store chain controlled by businessman Lucio L. Co and his family, donated more than P56 million of its earnings in 2010, according to a filing posted on the website of the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

At the same time, Puregold also filed the same notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission in compliance with the agency’s full disclosure rule, showing that it is ignoring the adverse effects of the increasing oil prices and the potential slowdown in consumer spending by implementing a plan that would expand the number of outlets by at least 25 stores this year.

“In relation to the expansion plan, the company will require additional workforce of a total of 3,557 employees,” Co told regulators through a disclosure on detailing the plan of Puregold for 2012. Puregold made the disclosure in a filing to inform public stockholders of its plan to put up at least 25 more outlets this year.

The company listed shares last year at an initial public offering price hit a 30-day high of P23.15 and a 30-day low of P20.10. On April 12, it had a market value of P43.30 billion when it closed at P21.65.

Documents on file with the SEC and the exchange listed the Puregold’s donation of P56.458 million in 2010, an amount which was 23.224 times P2.431 million it gave out in 2009. Last year, Puregold reported total donation of P10.271 million.

Puregold’s optimism on the success of its expansion program stemmed from the approval by its board of its takeover of Kareila Management Corp.

In the deal between the two companies, the Co family’s loss would be Puregold’s gain in that Kareila would become one of its subsidiaries.  As a member of the club, Kareila is contributing to Puregold’s revenues the profits that it would derive from its operations and management of S&R membership stores.

In Puregold’s corporate restructuring, the Cos would lose nothing but only its direct ownership of Kareila. The share-for-share deal would increase their holdings as Puregold would pay them 766.406 million shares for their 1.703 million Kareila shares. This transaction would increase Cos’ holdings in Puregold to a little over 77 percent from the pre-share-for-share swap of 68.2562 percent.

Incidentally, the Cos do not have yet a conduit for its donations unlike some conglomerates. Among the family owners of public companies, the Gokongweis are probably the biggest among donors. JG Summit Holdings Inc., the listed holding company of businessman John Gokongwei Jr. and his family lists Gokongwei Brothers Foundation Inc. as its biggest stockholder with 1.997 billion JG Summit shares equivalent to 29.38 percent of outstanding.

At the stock’s high if P31.90, the foundation-held JG Summit shares are now worth P63.704 billion and P48.926 billion at its low of P24.50.

Among the stockholders of SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), the listed flagship of the SM Group of Companies controlled by businessman Henry Sy Sr. and his family, are two foundations. Henry Sy Foundation Inc. owns 7 million SMIC shares, or 1.143 percent while Felicidad Sy Foundation holds 2 million SMIC shares, or 0.327 percent. The respective holdings of the two foundations have market value of P4.76 billion and P1.360 billion respectively at the stock’s high of P680.

While the Gokongweis and the Sys may continue donating to their respective foundations, the Uytengsus who control Alaska Milk Corp. bear watching as to the fate of the family foundation. As of latest report, Wilfred Steven Uytengsu informed the exchange of a deal to sell 56,829,566 million AMC shares, or 6.44 percent, owned by Wilfred & Bonnie Uytensu Foundation Inc. at P24 each for total gross proceeds of P1,363,909,584.