Henderson to buy Japanese retailer FamilyMart’s Hong Kong stores for US$38 million

PUBLISHED : Friday, 25 May, 2018, 8:03am
UPDATED : Friday, 25 May, 2018, 8:02am

Property developer Henderson Land plans to acquire the Hong Kong unit of FamilyMart UNY, Japan’s second-largest convenience store chain, for HK$300 million (US$38 million) through its investment subsidiary, it announced on Thursday. 

UNY (HK) owns and operates three outlets in the city – described as hybrids of merchandise stores and supermarkets – under the brand names Apita, UNY and Piago, respectively in Taikoo Shing, Lok Fu and Kowloon Bay, as well as a discount store named Watashi to Seikatsu in North Point, which is due to close when the lease runs out in September. 

The acquisition is expected to strengthen the company’s position in the local retail market, expand its store coverage to Hong Kong Island and enhance its reach to the city’s middle-class households, according to a statement from Henderson Investment, a subsidiary of Henderson Land Development. Henderson Land is the property flagship of real estate tycoon Lee Shau-kee, Hong Kong’s second richest man according to Forbes magazine. 

The companies expect to complete the transaction by May 31, after which Henderson will be granted the use of certain trademarks of UNY for 10 years. 

UNY’s Hong Kong stores have been rooted in the local retail scene for around 30 years with a focus on offering Japanese food and fresh produce. UNY HK reported a net income of HK$31 million in the fiscal year ending November 2017, down 22.5 per cent from the same period a year ago. 

Henderson Investment’s presence in Hong Kong’s retail landscape includes its operation of local department chain, Citistore, which the company acquired for HK$934.5 million from its parent company in 2014. Citistore currently has six department stores, in Tsuen Wan, Yuen Long, Ma On Shan, Tuen Mun, Tseung Kwan O and Tai Kok Tsui. 

Listed in Hong Kong, Henderson Investment halted its trading in the local bourse on Thursday morning with its shares at 68 HK cents, and expected to resume trading on Friday.