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Vietnam M&A Spotlight - September 2021

Freshfields' Vietnam M&A Spotlight keeps you up-to-date with the key business and legal developments in this sector. Please contact us if you would also like to receive our Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight, Vietnam Environment Spotlight or Vietnam Competition Law Spotlight.


Freshfields Vietnam offices are delighted to announce the publication of ‘Corporate Acquisitions and Mergers in Vietnam’, a new Wolters Kluwer International Group publication authored by our Vietnam partners Tony Foster and Bui Thanh Tien. Now in its fourth edition, the book examines the regulatory framework that surrounds M&A deal-making in Vietnam, market trends, opportunities and how the market is likely to develop in the future. Read more at Kluwer Law Online or contact us for more information.



  • Lockdown. Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) confirmed that it has received the approval from the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC) to temporarily lock its foreign ownership ratio at 10 per cent and is now negotiating with several foreign investors. As the foreign ownership limit for banks is 30 per cent, this will reserve 20 per cent for issuance to such foreign investors. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Two injections. Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya announced that it had signed agreements with SHB to acquire a 100 per cent stake in SHB Finance, SHB’s consumer finance subsidiary for US$155.77 million. The transaction will have two phases, with SHB transferring 50 per cent of SHB Finance to Bank of Ayudhya in the first phase, and the remaining stake being transferred in the next three years. Source: Nikkei Asia
  • Single shot. Vietnam Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MSB) is looking to sell 100 per cent of its stake in its consumer finance arm FCCOM. MSB’s initial plan was to find a foreign investor to buy 50 per cent of the bank’s ownership in FCCOM. However, the bank now plans to divest 100 per cent of its stake in the consumer finance company. In March, South Korean credit card company Hyundai Card had failed to buy a 50 per cent stake in FCCOM despite lengthy negotiations. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Waiting. State-owned bank VietinBank is allegedly looking for a strategic partner to take a 15 per cent stake in VietinBank Securities, reducing its ownership from 75.6 to just over 50 per cent. The bank is also waiting for approval from the State Bank of Vietnam to divest 50 per cent of its capital in VietinBank Leasing by December this year. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Stronger Together. Korea Investment PE has recently decided to participate in Masan Group’s rights issues in a third-party placement and take a 2-3 per cent stake. It was not immediately known how much Masan Group could raise in total in the latest funding round. Korea Investment PE will be the latest South Korean shareholder of Masan Group along with the National Pension Service, SK Group, and Seoul-based IMM Investment Corporation. Source: Talk Vietnam
  • Meat. Masan MEATLife Corporation and Dutch firm De Heus Vietnam have announced the signing of an MOU, aiming to raise the productivity of the animal protein value chain in the country. Masan will focus on the branded chilled meat business while De Heus Vietnam will prioritize providing animal nutrition, genetics and husbandry solutions. The MOU also embodies the spirit of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and Investment Protection Agreement, and the strategic partnership between the two parties can greatly benefit Vietnam’s animal protein value chain and socio-economic development. Source: Vn Express International


  • Joint force. In a move to provide greater insurance access to people and businesses in Vietnam, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and two investment funds it manages are investing US$25 million in PVI Holdings, one of the largest non-life insurers in Vietnam, amounting to a 6 per cent equity stake. Currently, only around 1.3 per cent of Vietnam’s nearly 100 million population is covered by non-life insurance products, and the penetration rate of the non-life insurance sector is just 0.85 per cent of gross domestic product. Source: IFC


  • Overloaded. Aseana Properties Ltd, - the London-based property developer, announced that, following a competitive bidding process, it has signed a binding agreement to sell its interests in both the City International Hospital and the adjacent International Healthcare Park in Ho Chi Minh City to its joint venture partner, the Hoa Lam Corporation. The gross sales price of the transaction is estimated at around US$95 million. Following these sales, the company will have no assets in Vietnam and concentrate on realising its remaining four assets in Malaysia. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Tech to the rescue. Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corporation will invest an undisclosed amount into Insmart, a major healthcare intermediary in Vietnam, targeting to launch new digital medical services in a region facing rising costs and uneven access to doctors. Sumitomo plans to buy shares both from Insmart’s founder and a placement of new stock, and will consider eventually converting the company from an affiliate into a subsidiary. Insmart holds a 60 per cent shares of Vietnam’s managed-care market. Source: Vn Express International


  • Into the Taiwanese cart.  Taiwan Mobile, the second largest mobile operator in Taiwan, has invested US$20 million in the Series E funding for Vietnam’s biggest e-commerce company Tiki, as it seeks to gain a foothold in rapidly growing greater Southeast Asian markets. The round, which is Taiwan Mobile’s first strategic investment in Vietnam, would help Tiki and its e-commerce platform explore potential partners and new growth opportunities beyond its home market. Source: Taipei Times


  • Two into one doesn’t go. The Committee for Management of State Capital at Enterprises (CMSC) has proposed merging Ha Noi and Sai Gon Railway Transport JSC, two member companies of the Viet Nam Railways Corporation (VNR), in an effort to slash costs and improve efficiency as the industry struggles with the impacts of Covid-19. The proposal to merge these two companies was first raised in 2018, but has yet to be finalised. Source: Vietnam News

Oil & Gas

  • Spain out. Bitexco Energy Ltd. has signed a deal to buy Talisman Vietnam, a company that operates two southern offshore oil fields, the Hai Su Trang (White Sea Lion) and Hai Su Den (Black Sea Lion) located 20 km to the east of Vung Tau Province. The acquisition from Spain’s Repsol Exploración SA is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Talisman currently holds 60 per cent of the oil and gas exploitation contract for the Block 15-2/01 offshore platform of Thang Long JSC. Source: Vn Express International

Renewable Energy

  • Spain in. Spanish renewables giant Iberdrola has acquired renewable energy assets in Vietnam from German SOWITEC Group. SOWITEC Vietnam has a 550MW project pipeline comprising five onshore wind farms and a 50MW floating solar project. No financial details have been disclosed. Vietnam, which foresees the installation of more than 20,000MW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, is an important new market for Iberdrola. Source: Renewables Now

Real Estate

  • Coincidence. Global investment firm KKR is set to reduce its stake in leading real estate developer Vinhomes to 4.6 per cent. The deal is estimated to be worth around VND3.7 trillion (US$161.9 million) at the current price. Simultaneously, Vinhomes’ parent company, Vingroup, is also planning to sell a 3 per cent stake in it at around the same time for VND12 trillion. Source: Vn Express International