Central says Pace deal not in the offing
Leading retailer Central Group has denied a report that it was approached to acquire the operations of high-end grocer Dean & DeLuca from SET-listed luxury property developer Pace Development Plc for US$50 million (1.67 billion baht).
A source from Central Group said yesterday that the company did not know where the report came from.
The report said Central proposed to buy the right to operate Dean & DeLuca’s cafe, restaurant, business-to-business and e-commerce businesses outside the US, with Pace maintaining ownership of consumer goods under the Dean & DeLuca brand worldwide.
Pace Development is a high-end property developer, with notable projects including MahaNakhon Tower, Hua Hin luxury resort MahaSamutr and luxury condo Nimit Langsuan.
Pace acquired Dean & DeLuca, one of the world’s most iconic gourmet food brands, as well as its global business and assets, for $140 million from Dean & DeLuca Holdings Inc in the US in 2014.
The move was meant to raise Pace’s capabilities as a developer of premium mixed-use developments and fuel rapid global growth of Dean & DeLuca’s gourmet food and drinks business.
The purchase included the supply chain and operations of 11 outlets and two commissaries in the US, as well as licensing agreements in 31 international locations, among them four outlets in Thailand.
In other news, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) yesterday ordered Pace Development to clarify information regarding the company’s joint venture agreement with three investors, a deal that incurs an obligation for Pace to repurchase a certain amount of its preferred stock from the counterparties.
With reference to Pace’s disclosure through the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Feb 28 regarding an investment and loan from three investors who invested in two Pace subsidiaries — Pace Project One Co Ltd and Pace Project Three Co Ltd — Pace has received money through an issuance of preferred stock in the amount of 7.78 billion baht and a loan of 658 million baht.
Later, Pace disclosed in the financial statements for the second quarter of 2017 that the company had entered into a consent conditions undertaking (CCU) with the three investors, resulting in an obligation for Pace to repurchase a certain amount of the preferred stock.
Because the CCU may cause a significant change to the conditions under agreement and the company’s disclosure is directly involved, the SEC has instructed Pace’s board to clarify the facts about the CCU and its effect on the company and disclose such clarification through the SET within seven days.