Robinsons Retail buys VisMin’s Rose Pharmacy

Published October 17, 2020, 6:00 AM

by James A. Loyola

Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI) has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire 100 percent of Rose Pharmacy Inc., one of the biggest drugstore chains in Visayas and Mindanao, for P4.5 billion.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, RRHI said its subsidiary South Star Drug Inc. has has made the purchase from Mulgrave Corporation B.V (MCBV), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dairy Farm International Holdings, Ltd.

Rose Pharmacy was established in 1952 as a family-run drugstore in Cebu City with the goal of providing quality and affordable medicines to communities.

Dairy Farm acquired a 49 percent share in the Cebu-based business in 2015, and in November 2018, Dairy Farm increased its interest in Rose Pharmacy to 100 percent. 

At present, Rose Pharmacy is one of the leading drugstore chains in the Philippines with nearly P9 billion in net sales in 2019 and over 300 stores strategically located in Visayas and Mindanao. 

“I am delighted that Rose Pharmacy will be part of our portfolio as it takes us back to our hometown in Cebu, where my father and JG Summit Holdings and RRHI Founder John Gokongwei, Jr. started as an entrepreneur. Mr. John also admired Rose Pharmacy for its strong brand reputation in Visayas and Mindanao,” said RRHI President Robina Gokongwei-Pe. 

She added that, “The deal also further bolsters our strategic partnership with Dairy Farm to strengthen our position in Philippine multi-format retailing. We first worked with Dairy Farm for the acquisition of Rustan Supercenters, Inc. in 2018, which deepened our footprint in the premium supermarket space.”

“Our acquisition of Rose Pharmacy yet again offers ripe opportunities for innovation through strategic synergies,” Gokongwei-Pe said.

South Star Drug Managing Director David Goh said “Rose Pharmacy is a very strategic addition to our drugstore portfolio with its highly-regarded brand in VisMin and complementary network to Southstar Drug’s strong presence in Luzon and Metro Manila.”

He noted that, “Together, we can leverage our scale and synergies to drive wider product assortment, better customer service and offer greater value to our customers across Philippines when they need it most.”(James A. Loyola)