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SM scraps acquisition of Goldilocks

SM Retail, Inc. will no longer pursue the acquisition of Goldilocks Bakeshop, Inc., the country’s largest bakeshop chain, even after the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) recently approved the transaction.

“Regarding the proposed acquisition by SM Retail of Goldilocks, both SM and Goldilocks have jointly agreed not to pursue the transaction given changes in the general business environment,” SM stated Thursday.

On the sidelines of the Forum on Competition in Developing Countries in Makati City, PCC Commissioner Stella Luz Quimbo told reporters that the PCC was notified that SM scrapped the acquisition of Goldilocks considering changes in the commercial aspect of the bakeshop chain.

“It is unfortunate it has ended this way,” Quimbo said.

The Commissioner noted that the changes seem to happen after the PCC approved the voluntary commitments submitted by SM to the antitrust body.

SM served its voluntary commitments to the PCC December 29 of last year after the Commission has seen competition concerns with the transaction such as the possibility that SM may treat Goldilock’s competitors unfairly as well as issue on information firewall that SM may share other bakeshops’ information which are SM mall tenants to Goldilocks.

“They addressed that in their voluntary commitments. They assured us that they would give fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms to competitors of Goldilocks. They told us that there are existing information firewalls already and they committed to keeping this. They agreed to be monitored for five years,” Quimbo noted.

She said this is also the first time that the PCC received a notification that parties will not push through a merger and acquisition deal after the anti-competition office approved the transaction.

“This is the first that we received notification that they will not proceed after we had actually issued the approval from our end,” the Commissioner said.

“However it is a business decision we respect,” she added.

Kris Crismundo /PNA