Multi-format retailer Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. has announced it plans to acquire grocery chain operator Rustan Supercenters Inc. This initiative will expand the Philippine group's retail business, according to reports in ABS-CBN News and Deal Street Asia late March, while Robinsons has agreed to partner with Asian retailer Dairy Farm to create a leading food retailer in the Philippines.

In a share swap transaction, Robinsons Retail said its board approved the acquisition of Dairy Farm subsidiary Mulgrave Corp BV's 100 percent stake in Rustan Supercenters, valued at PHP18 billion (US$343 million), the Gokongwei company told the stock exchange. 

"With decades of combined experience in the Philippine food retail industry, Robinsons Retail and Rustan Supercenters aim to cultivate a legacy that genuinely enriches the lives of fellow Filipinos," said Robina Gokongwei-Pe, president of Robinsons Retail Holdings.

Rustan Supercenters operates Rustan’s department stores, Marketplace by Rustan’s, Rustan’s Supermarket, Shopwise Hypermarket, Shopwise Express and Wellcome.

Owned by the Gokongwei family, Robinsons Retail has more than 3500 retail outlets including supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores, drugstores, international fashion and beauty, and specialty coffee shops.

Certain members of the Gokongwei family intend to sell their shares, bringing their holdings in Robinsons Retail's expanded capital to 51 percent, according to the disclosure. 

Rustans is 100 percent owned via a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed retail group Dairy Farm International, which is majority owned by Jardine Matheson.

Dairy Farm, through its arm MCBV, will own 18.25 percent of the listed retail company upon the completion of the secondary sale tranche. The board of directors of Robinsons Retail and MCBV has approved the acquisitions. The transaction is subject to the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Philippine Competition Commission. 

Established in 1985, Robinsons Supermarket is the Philippines' first major retailer anchored on health and wellness. "With an intuitive store layout and vibrant array of healthy product options, each store seeks to offer a comfortable and refreshing shopping experience for every customer," Robinsons Retail said.