Co revealed that his Puregold Price Club Inc. actually gained a windfall after unloading PG Lawson Company, Inc. (PLCI), in 2018 after four years of operating the 24-hour convenience store in the red (Co lost P160 million from Lawson in 2017 alone).
In its recently released 2019 report, Puregold said:”In April 2018, the Parent Company sold its entire investment in PLCI for P600 million. This resulted in a P363 million gain from the sale of such investment.”
Co signed the 70-30 partnership with Lawson Asia Pacific Holdings Pte. Ltd. and Lawson, Inc. (Lawson) in 2014. But the joint venture could only set up 33 Lawson convenience stores from 2015 to 2018 which were just a drop in the bucket compared to the massive network of market leaders Seven-11 (over 2,000 stores) of the Paterno family and Mini-Stop (over 500 stores) of the Gokongweis.
Puregold and Lawson had planned to build 500 stores by 2020 or at least establish a minimum of 150 stores to break even. Looking back, Lawson was a failed experiment but proved to be an enriching experience for Co.