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Vietnam M&A Spotlight - May 2023

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.


We are pleased to share the article in Vietnam Investment Review written by Eric Johnson, counsel of our Hanoi office. The first few months of 2023 have not been easy for digital economy companies and investors who fund them. Eric pores over the critical issues and trends that will affect Vietnam’s digital space. Source: Vietnam Investment Review



  • Taken over. The State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) plans to seize four weak commercial banks in a move aimed at strengthening the country's banking system. The poorly-performing banks are DongA Bank, Vietnam Construction Bank (CB), Ocean Bank and GP Bank, the SBV said in a report submitted to the National Assembly’s Economic Committee at the end of April. As outlined in the report, three of the banks - CB, Ocean Bank and GP Bank - would be sold by the SVB to stronger commercial banks including Vietcombank. Source: Vietnam News
  • Yes to the plan. During the annual shareholders' meeting last month, The Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) approved a plan to issue additional shares to strategic foreign investors. The bank has been working with potential overseas partners, including major financial institutions, and expects to have a deal in place soon.  Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • No to the plan. Shareholders in Vietnam’s Maritime Bank (MSB) have rejected the bank’s plan to merge with another Vietnamese bank, allegedly PG Bank. Only 56 per cent of the votes supported the bank's merger proposal, while approval will need 65 per cent as prescribed in its charter. Source: The Investor


  • Fresh, but bold strategy. In an effort to entice foreign partners and unlock fresh investment opportunities, the Military Insurance Corporation (MIC), the non-life insurer arm of MB Group, has green lit a plan to look for strategic investors in 2023 as part of its ongoing 2022-2026 strategic roadmap, with the objective of clinching a top-3 spot in terms of market share by 2026.  Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Medical care for children. Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has invested in Vietnamese healthcare services provider Nhi Dong 315. The Vietnamese firm operates at least 60 paediatric and maternity clinics in Ho Chi Minh City. Nhi Dong 315 seeks to expand its primary care services and to open new clinics in Hanoi, Hue and Da Nang this year. Source: Deal Street Asia


  • Education for children. Despite forecasts that the global economic situation may negatively impact the startup market, the edtech sector in Vietnam is still flourishing due to increased investment in education, affordable internet costs, and advancements in industry technologies. Edtech startup MindX on 12 April 2023 successfully raised US$15 million in a Series B funding round led by Singapore’s Kaizenvest investment fund. Other investors in this round include Thailand’s Aksorn education group, Japan’s Mynavi recruitment company, and Wavemaker Partners, which led the Series A funding round of MindX. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Dairy market. Growtheum Capital Partners has agreed to pay around US$100 million for a stake in Vietnam’s International Dairy Products JSC (IDP) as the Singapore-based private equity firm looks to tap the region’s growing dairy market. The Singapore buyout firm will hold around 15 per cent of the Vietnamese company after the deal. Source: The Investor

Real Estate

  • Entry from Singapore. Singapore’s real estate giant CapitaLand Group is in talks to acquire assets worth roughly US$1.5 billion from Vinhomes JSC which is a part of Vingroup, the country’s largest conglomerate and is the biggest real estate developer in Vietnam. CapitaLand is considering buying part of Vinhomes’ Ocean Park 3 project, a 294-hectare resort city-style development near Hanoi, and another project in the northern city of Haiphong. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Entry from Thailand. Thailand's largest retailer Central Group and other companies are negotiating to buy a stake in Vincom Retail. The negotiated stake size is unknown due to the sensitivity of the matter, but Central Group executives have been seen meeting with Vincom Retail representatives in Ho Chi Minh City, where Central Group Vietnam is headquartered. Source: The Investor
  • Exit from Vietnam. Mall operator Parkson Vietnam filed for bankruptcy in Ho Chi Minh City, ending its 18 years of operations with million-dollar losses, and waiting for its approval. At its peak the company operated 10 malls across the country. Parkson Retail Asia will continue to focus its operations in Malaysia where it is optimistic about its prospects. Source: VN Express International