MEXICO CITY Nov 9 Mexican retailer and beverage
company Femsa said on Friday that its Femsa Comercio unit had
agreed to buy a 75 percent stake in drug store chain YZA,
marking its debut in a new business operation in its home turf.
No financial details were disclosed and the company was not
immediately available for further comment. The deal is expected
to close in the first quarter of 2013, pending regulatory
YZA, founded in 1958 and headquartered in the colonial city
of Merida in the state of Yucatan, has 333 stores across
southern Mexico, Femsa said in a statement.
"This transaction opens a new avenue for growth for Femsa
Comercio," it added. Current YZA shareholders will keep the
remaining 25 percent stake in the company. YZA executives were
not immediately available for comment.
Femsa Comercio's thriving growth over the last years
piggybacked on the expansion of its successful Oxxo convenience
stores, ending September with 10,167 units mostly in Mexico
although it has a smaller operation in Colombia.
Monex analyst Paola Sotelo suggested Femsa could turn the
YZA stores into Oxxos, adding drug distribution to the format.
"The purchase is positive and in line with the company's
strategic expansion," she said.
The YZA deal may be Femsa Comercio's second expansion
outside its core market in just a few weeks.
Local media reported last month that the unit had bought
fast food franchiser Dona Tota for about $120 million but the
company declined comment on what it called a market rumor.
Femsa sold its beer business to Heineken two years ago in
exchange for a 20 percent stake in the Dutch brewer.
The company, which co-owns Coke bottler Coca-Cola Femsa
with Coca-Cola Co, ended up 0.12 percent at
116.9 pesos on Friday just before making the YZA announcement.
Femsa posted last month a third-quarter profit rise of about
2 percent, with a big surge in sales crimped by exchange rate
losses. Its New York-traded stock ended near flat at