7-Eleven Malaysia said to weigh selling drugstore chain Caring

CONVENIENCE store operator 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings Bhd is weighing exiting its pharmacy chain, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The Kuala Lumpur-listed company is working with an advisor on the potential divestment of Caring Pharmacy Group Bhd, which is attracting interest from some Japanese parties, the people said. The company could seek a valuation for the retailer of about US$400 million in a deal, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified as the process is private.

Deliberations are ongoing and 7-Eleven Malaysia could decide not to proceed with the planned sale, said the people. 7-Eleven Malaysia and Berjaya Corp didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment by phone and email.

Founded in 1994 by five pharmacists, Caring sells pharmaceutical, healthcare and personal care products, according to its website. It has over 120 stores across Malaysia as of 2019. Caring was traded on the Bursa Malaysia for six years before being purchased by 7-Eleven Malaysia in 2020 for RM292 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, and delisted.

7-Eleven Malaysia is the biggest 24-hour convenience store operator in the South-East Asian nation, according to its website. Its largest shareholder is Berjaya Corp founder Vincent Tan, who controls about 44.7% of the stock, according to the chain’s 2021 annual report.

The company started offering franchising programs to local entrepreneurs in 2009 after the number of stores in its network crossed the 1,000 mark the same year. – Bloomberg / pic credit: caring2u.com