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Uniwide says SEC decision ‘unfair’

UNIWIDE Holdings Inc. on Monday said the recent decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to dissolve and liquidate the company’s assets was “unfair” as it has already paid most of its loans from its creditors.

The company, which owns the Uniwide Warehouse Club brand, said it had requested the corporate regulator in December 2012 to withdraw it from corporate rehabilitation to negotiate with creditors, pointing out that the company “is on the road to recover its financial standing.”

Uniwide added that based on records, its obligations were substantially paid as early as 2010.

“The motion was not acted upon and a mandamus case was filed with the Court of Appeals where it is pending resolution,” the company said in its disclosure.

“It is therefore unfair that the corporation be dissolved and liquidated,” it added.

The SEC en banc in May came up with a decision to dissolve all companies in the group, including Uniwide Sales Inc., Uniwide Holdings Inc., Naic Resources and Development Corp., Uniwide Sales Realty and Development Corp., First Paragon Corp. and Uniwide Sales Warehouse Club Inc. Its assets will be liquidated after the dissolution.

Uniwide was a once promising retail firm that over-extended itself, that led it default on loans that reached P11 billion. It entered into corporate rehabilitation during the Asian financial crisis in 1998. At that time, the company’s retail business has a network of eight warehouse clubs and two department stores.

Liquidity problems, however, affected earnings. Sales declined from its peak of P14.5 billion in 1997 to just about P4.3 billion in 2000.

The company, which entered its 10th year of corporate rehabilitation in 2012, was established by the Gow family in 1975 as a Uniwide Sales Textile Bargain House Center in Avenida in Manila, offering low prices that attracted buyers from the mass market.

With the success, the Gow family expanded to ready-to-wear apparel, accessories and then became a complete department store and supermarket chain.

The company introduced the mass-oriented warehouse club concept in the country in 1988. It opened a warehouse clubs in prime locations in the country in the next two years, which also started the company’s woes.

Some of its assets in prime location such as its unfinished building in Cubao, Quezon City were already bought by Puregold Price Club Inc. of the Co family.Its remaining warehouse club is in the reclamation area in Roxas Boulevard in Parañaque and in Metromall in Las Piñas.






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