FEMSA to acquire majority share of Chilean pharmacy

FEMSA Comercio announced Friday it has agreed to acquire a majority equity stake in Grupo Socofar, a leading South American drugstore operator based in Santiago, Chile.

"Socofar welcomes a partner with whom to pursue growth opportunities and who can bring new capabilities and capital to assist in capturing them,” Guillermo Harding, chairman of Socofar, said. “During the last few months, FEMSA Comercio and the management of Socofar have developed a joint vision of how to create value going forward and I am excited about the many opportunities we can pursue by combining the best of both organizations."

Socofar operates 643 drugstores and 154 beauty stores throughout Chile under the Cruz Verde and Maicao banners, respectively.

FEMSA Comercio is acquiring 60 percent of the equity of Socofar funded from cash-on-hand. The enterprise value of the company is $998 million.

The current controlling shareholders of the equity of Socofar will remain as owners of 40 percent of the equity. FEMSA Comercio will exercise daily operating control, and the current controlling shareholders will appoint two members to the board.

"This is the right transaction for us, as it provides a strong regional platform to grow from,” Eduardo Padilla, FEMSA Comercio's CEO, said. “Socofar brings tremendous value not only through its robust store network and its advanced distribution capabilities, but through the deep expertise of its excellent management team and shareholders.”