The Gokongwei group acquired a 51-percent stake in The Generics Pharmacy, the country’s largest generics drugstore chain from the Luison family, for an undisclosed amount.
Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc., the listed retail holding company of the Gokongwei family, said in a disclosure to the stock exchange the acquisition was in line with the group’s strategy of expanding its presence in the drugstore business.
TGP, established by businessman Benjamin Liuson in 2001, now has more than 1,800 stores across the country.
Robinsons Retail said together with pharmaceutical chain South Star Drug, the group would now have nearly 2,200 stores nationwide, the largest in terms of the total number of store outlets in the country. These two companies target all types of consumers and cover all segments of the drugstore business.
“We are very excited to partner with TGP. This is because TGP strongly believes in its vision to offer quality products at very affordable prices and in convenient locations. It is an honor to continue the company’s legacy and to further grow the business,” Robinsons Retail president and chief operating officer Robina Gokongwei,”Pe said.
The Liuson family has been in the pharmaceutical business since 1959, initially as importer and wholesaler under the name Pacific Pharma. In 1983, Pacific Pharma shifted its focus to generic medicines after realizing the serious need of most Filipinos for quality medicine at affordable prices. In 2001, the Liuson family ventured into retail and set up The Generics Pharmacy.
TGP decided to bring affordable healthcare and medicines more accessible to far-flung areas of the country through the franchising business model in 2007. TGP and the Liuson family were advised by Fortman Cline Capital Markets.
“We have been a firm believer that a Filipino deserves nothing less for less cost. Thus, we have been true to our mission of helping address the health needs of every Filipino by providing a complete range of safe, quality and cost—effective generic medicines and healthcare products and services. As we profit from accomplishing this mission, we ensure our growth is shared among our franchisees, partners, suppliers and employees. It is our hope to bring our business a step higher with our partnership with Robinsons Retail,” TGP founder and chairman of the board Benjamin Liuson said.
Conglomerate Ayala Corp. also ventured into retail healthcare industry last year, with the acquisition of a 50-percent stake in the pharmaceutical chain Generika group.