SM backs out of Goldilocks acquisition, anti-trust body says

Cathy Yang and Warren de Guzman ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 01 2018 09:09 AM | Updated as of Feb 01 2018 01:14 PM

MANILA - (UPDATE) SM Retail Inc has backed out of its planned acquisition of Goldilocks Bakeshop, the head of the country's anti-trust watchdog that reviewed the deal said Thursday.

SM informed the Philippine Competition Commission of its decision in writing, PCC Chairman Arsenio Balisacan told ABS-CBN News.

"It’s a completely business decision on their part, we’re happy we went that far and they cooperation, SM presented their undertaking but at the end of the day they decided not to continue their transaction," Balicasan said.

After Balisacan's announcement, SM said it agreed with Goldilocks "not to pursue the transaction given changes in the general business environment." It did not elaborate.

Shares of SM Investments were up 1.17 percent compared to a 0.4 percent advance on the main index after Balisacan's statement. Shares of its shopping mall arm, SM Prime Holdings were up 0.54 percent.

Commissioner Johannes Bernabe of the PCC quoted SM as saying in its notice that the acquisition was called off due to "commercial" considerations.

Bernabe said he was surprised with the move, which came a month after the PCC said it could proceed.

The watchdog had expressed concern that the deal might limit the supply of retail space in SM Malls for Goldilocks' competition and the mall operator might also share the competition's sales information with Goldilocks.

SM addressed the PCC's questions and the deal was approved in January.

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