By: Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
Property tycoon Manuel Villar Jr. expects to spend around P175 billion to scale up his group’s property development, leasing, retailing and other allied businesses in the next three years.
About 60 percent of the total capital spending through 2020 will be devoted to real estate—Villar’s flagship business—while more than 35 percent will be earmarked for leasing and retail businesses, particularly the development of new retail concepts, Villar told reporters.
For 2018 alone, the Villar group founder said the group would likely fork out P50 billion to expand its real estate and leasing businesses.
“We are very bullish in the coming year as we take advantage of the various collaborations among our companies in addition to the sustained sound Philippine macroeconomic fundamentals. Our various expansion programs implemented in our property development including memorial parks, malls and retail businesses are yielding positive results and are taking advantage of the significant synergies that we have unlocked,” Villar said.
Publicly-listed Vista Land & Lifescapes intends to put up more malls and develop more residential projects in the countryside as it aims to deliver double digit growth in the next three years. It also plans to venture into large-scale mixed-use developments.
Retail arm All Value Holdings Corp. expects to ramp up the expansion of its home improvement, supermarket, bakeshop and coffee shop businesses.
The capital outlays will be covered by a mix of internally-generated cash and borrowings, Villar said, adding that selling equity or bonds was also an option. “We still have room for a public offering by Starmalls; Vista Land could raise more from bonds,” he said.
The Villar Group is also preparing for the stock market debut of its retail businesses, either all under holding firm All Value or individually. The initial public offering will be undertaken once the numbers have reached critical mass while a track record on profitability has already been established, he said.
All Value includes All Home (a home improvement and builders’ center), All Day Supermarket, All Day convenience store, gourmet restaurant chain Coffee Project, Bake my Day pastry shop and new concepts such as All Sports and All Toys.
Coffee Project now has 22 branches and the group is aiming to increase the number to 45 to 50 next year. “So we will add 23 to 28 more. We now have 15 to 20 identified locations, including Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo, and Naga,” Villar said.
Coffee Project is designed to be a “more peaceful” place for people to get together or even conduct meetings. Villar said he had ensured that this coffee/restaurant chain had a nice ambience and bigger space to encourage customers to stay longer.
Each Coffee Project is estimated to cost P10 million to P15 million to build. “I feel that all Vista Land developments should have a good coffee shop,” he said. However, Villar said he would welcome other coffee chain brands like Starbucks as locators. “We are, first and foremost, a mall developer.”
For All Day convenience stores, Villar is targeting to have 100 branches by next year from the current 72 outlets. The network of All Day Supermarkets will be doubled from 13 this year to 26 next year. The All Home chain will also be expanded from 16 branches 26 to 28 depots by next year.
For Bake My Day, the plan is to set up shop beside each of All Day Supermarkets. Villar is also developing a new pharmaceutical retailing concept which will be launched soon.
On the cinema business in its shopping malls, the group expects to have 200 state-of-the-art cinemas by 2020 from the current 40 cinemas. Villar also plans to grow his homegrown Georgia Academy—which offers primary education—from three schools to 13 next year. The group will also build hospitals in key residential hubs.
The group also plans to expand Golden Haven Memorial Park by doubling the number of locations from 14 to around 28. “We aim to have one in every city where we have Camella Homes,” he said.
The group is present in 128 cities and municipalities nationwide.