Japan Retail Giant FamilyMart Uny Is Said to Mull Hong Kong Exit

(Bloomberg) -- FamilyMart Uny Holdings Co., Japan’s second-largest convenience store operator, is considering a sale of its Hong Kong retail business, people with knowledge of the matter said.

FamilyMart Uny is working with a financial adviser to gauge potential buyer interest in its three stores in the Chinese territory, according to the people. It is seeking to fetch close to $100 million from any sale, one of the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Deliberations are at an early stage, and Tokyo-based FamilyMart Uny could decide to keep the business, the people said. 

Any deal will add to the $26.5 billion of retail acquisitions in Asia this year, up from $19.8 billion during the same period in 2016, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In Hong Kong, FamilyMart Uny runs department stores targeting the city’s affluent middle class under the Apita, Piago and Uny brand names. They sell stationery, clothing and food ranging from fresh local produce to imported chocolate, wine and wagyu beef.

Sales in Hong Kong’s supermarket industry fell 0.1 percent in the first 10 months of the year, lagging the 1.2 percent gain in the city’s overall retail industry, government statistics show. 

A representative for FamilyMart Uny said the company has no plans to sell its Hong Kong stores at the moment.

FamilyMart Co. bought rival Uny Group Holdings Co. last year in a stock swap valued at $2 billion at the time of completion. The deal created the country’s second-biggest convenience store chain, overtaking Lawson Inc. Uny opened its first outlet in the former British colony in 1985, according to its annual report.

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