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Tencent has partnered ParknShop and Yonghui to launch a new grocery chain ParknShop Yonghui. Valued at US$170m, the joint venture aims to help both Yonghui and ParknShop expand their businesses in China further.
Yonghui will be the largest stakeholder in the new joint venture, investing US$89.5m for a 50% stake. ParknShop will hold a 40% stake with contributions amounting to US$72.1m, while Tencent will pay US$17.8m for a 10% stake. Yonghui is already in partnership with Tencent, after the tech giant invested US$750m to purchase a 5% stake in Yonghui last December.
Based in Fujian, Yonghui was founded in 1995 but has presence in 24 provinces across China. It operates more than 830 stores, including supermarkets, hypermarkets and convenience stores. Yonghui has alliances with Dairy Farm, Tencent Holdings, JD.com, Zhongbai Holdings and Daymon Worldwide.
ParknShop is a subsidiary of A.S. Watson and is the second largest supermarket chain in Hong Kong with approx. 270 stores. It also operates 16 supermarkets in Macau. On Mainland China, it has around 54 stores in and around Guangdong province, but its store network has stayed largely the same over the last few years.
Despite increasing competition from online giants moving into bricks-and-mortar retailing, Yonghui continues to strong sales growth. In August, it posted 21.5% growth in revenue for the first half and continues to expand its store network quickly.
Yonghui's latest partnership with ParknShop is a surprise, particularly as A.S. Watson's fierce rival Dairy Farm holds a 19.99% stake in Yonghui. Nonetheless, with Tencent also involved in the new joint venture, we expect digital solutions via WeChat and innovation around online fulfilment to play a role in shaping ParknShop Yonghui.
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