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Vietnam M&A Spotlight - November 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.


Banking & Finance

  • Deal of the year. VPBank announced the completion of the sale of 49 per cent of its consumer finance arm FE Credit to SMBC Consumer Finance Co., Ltd (SMBCCF), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group. VPBank will retain a 50 per cent stake in FE Credit, while the remaining 1 per cent is held by another investor. FE Credit is currently the leading consumer finance company in Vietnam with approximately 50% of the market. Source: Vn Express International
  • Still trying. Despite announcing plans earlier this year that it would pull out of the consumer banking business in 13 nations, including Vietnam, Citigroup has been unable to ensure that all of its divestiture plans would yield the desired conclusion with a perfect partner. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Long-running stories. The Vietnam Banks Association has called for an increase in the foreign-ownership limit in Vietnamese commercial banks to be increased to 30 per cent, starting with those who have implemented Basel II successfully and are in the process of upgrading to Basel III. Commercial banks have voiced concerns over the challenges they faced in finding the right partner and over the lengthy and complicated negotiation process, which has been bottlenecked by the limit on share ownership by foreign investors. Source: Vietnam News


  • Maths homework. Private equity firm Excelsior Capital Vietnam Partners has announced its investment in Vietnam-based education group Khoi Nguyen Investment and Education Development (KNE), which operates four K-12 schools in Ho Chi Minh City. KNE is Excelsior’s second deal. It backed health and beauty retail chain Hasaki Investment Corporation in June this year. The debut Vietnam fund of Excelsior Capital Asia has a target of US$150 million and had raised about US$80 million by March this year. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Coming back for more. Healthcare-focused private equity firm Quadria Capital is reported to be in advanced talks to invest in a company in Vietnam from its second fund that has a corpus of US$595 million. Quadria Capital’s portfolio companies include Vietnamese tertiary care hospital FV Hospital. Source: Deal Street Asia


  • Plant-based meat. Dutch animal nutrition firm De Heus signed a strategic agreement with Masan, pursuant to which De Heus will obtain control of 100 per cent of its feed-related business, MNS Feed. The MNS Feed business covers 13 animal feed mills and one premix plant, with a total combined production capacity of nearly 4 million tonnes, strengthening De Heus’ position in Southeast Asia’s largest animal feed market. Source: Vietnam Plus


  • Tiki. Vietnam’s Tiki has raised US$258 million in a funding round led by AIA Insurance Inc. as the e-commerce startup looks to expand into life insurance and plans a U.S. IPO.  The latest funding brings Tiki’s valuation to close to US$1 billion. Tiki initially planned to go public by 2025, but it now intends to go down the IPO route as early as next year. Source: Bloomberg
  • Telio. Telio, the first business-to-business e-commerce platform in Vietnam, has received funding of US$22.5 million from Vietnamese tech unicorn VNG, raising total investment as of September 2021 to US$51 million. Following the investment, VNG will assist Telio’s expansion. Source: Vietnam Plus


  • Late mover. Posco Energy will cash out of its 30 per cent stake in the Mong Duong II thermal power plant project in Vietnam for 275 billion won (US$184.3 million) by October 2024, earlier than expected. This follows the planned exit of the project’s biggest stakeholder AES Corporation, which is selling its 51 per cent stake amid a global campaign to reduce carbon emissions. Source: Pulse News

Renewable Energy

  • Testing the water. Japanese utility Chubu Electric Power Co Inc. plans to buy a 20 per cent stake in Vietnamese renewable energy firm Bitexco Power Corp for an undisclosed sum. Under the deal, Chubu will purchase the stake from Japan’s Orix Corp and Singapore’s United Overseas Bank, and will buy new shares to be issued by Bitexco. Bitexco focuses on hydropower and solar, operating 21 hydropower stations and one solar power plant, with a generation capacity of about 798MW. This is Chubu’s first investment in Vietnam and in a foreign hydropower company anywhere. Source: Deal Street Asia