According to the initial information released to the media, the retail magnate and self-made billionaire Henry Sy passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning as confirmed by Steven Tan, SM Supermalls COO.
Steven Tan released the following statement to the media:
“With deep sadness, I would like to inform the group that our beloved Chairman Tatang, Mr. Henry Sy Sr, passed away peacefully in his sleep early Saturday morning. Please pray for the eternal repose of his soul,” Steven Tan, SM Supermalls COO, said in a statement.
The 94-year-old billionaire and founder of SM Group was named by Forbes Magazine as the Philippines richest man with an estimated net worth of $19 billion.
Before the untimely death of Henry Sy Sr., he already tapped a long-time associate, Jose Sio, to succeed him as Chairman of SM Investments, while his eldest daughter Teresita Sy-Coson and son Henry Sy Jr. remain as co-Vice Chairpersons at SM Investments, where Harley Sy is also executive director.
Based upon the biography of Henry Sy, the Chinese-born businessman started his business with the Shoemart footwear in downtown, Manila, which he later expanded into giant malls that serve as commercial hubs in the country’s urban centers.
The SM Group, one of the country’s leading conglomerate, operates some of the prominent companies in the Philippines such as BDO Unibank, the country’s largest lender, condominium builder SM Development Corp. and Belle Corp., which has a stake in the billion-dollar City of Dreams casino resort.
SM Group is considered as one of the country’s largest employment sources of Filipinos. The company employs more than 86,000 people.
SM has 63 malls in the Philippines and 7 others in China, where Sy was born.