PCC approves SM’s Goldilocks acquisition
January 9, 2018 – 9:57pm
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Competition Commission has approved the acquisition of homegrown restaurant chain Goldilocks Bakeshop by the SM Group of retail despite the competition watchdog’s previous concerns over the transaction.
The acquisition had breached the P1-billion threshold, thereby requiring the PCC’s approval. The commission earlier said the deal could give Goldilocks an unfair advantage over competitors operating in SM shopping malls.
In a statement on Tuesday, the PCC said it allowed SM’s purchase of Goldilocks after the retail giant vowed not to discriminate the bakeshop’s competitors by placing them to “disadvantageous locations or unfavorable lease terms.”
The country’s antitrust body also said SM committed to refrain from giving Goldilocks access to strategies and performance metrics of its competitors through SM’s point-of-sale system.
“Maintaining this ‘information firewall’ between SM Prime Holdings Inc. and SM Retail/Goldilocks is meant to ensure that SM Retail/Goldilocks will not be able to use sales data or information of its competitors to its advantage,” the PCC said.
“The SM Group is legally obliged to comply with its commitment and submit reports to the Commission. Over a period of five years, the parties will be monitored periodically by a team of experts from PCC. Monitoring will also include random inspections,” it added.
The PCC-approved deal marked SM’s foray into a new retail format. For Goldilocks, the deal would provide a big boost to the company’s expansion given SM’s wide footprint nationwide.
Over the past several years, many groups wooed Goldilocks, but the owners at that time did not want to sell. According to its profile, the company posted steady growth and reached its P5 billion sales in 2006.
Goldilocks is now estimated to have over 500 stores nationwide and abroad.
Under the Philippine Competition Act, PCC is mandated to review mergers and acquisitions that meet the P1-billion threshold to ensure that these deals will not harm the interest of consumers.