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Vietnam M&A Spotlight - July 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 Environment Spotlight, Vietnam Infrastructure Spotlight or Vietnam Competition Law Spotlight.



  • Education fever 1. EQuest, a Vietnamese-based education group backed by private equity major KKR, has raised US$120 million in fresh funding to support its expansion plans in Vietnam. The funding was made through a combination of debt and equity from existing investor KKR’s Global Impact Fund. EQuest has consolidated about 20 schools, universities, and training facilities. Source: Deal Street Asia
  • Education fever 2. EQuest has completed the acquisition of a stake in Vietnam-based Ngoi Sao Ha Noi School to become the latter’s biggest shareholder. Financial details of the investment have not been disclosed. Founded in 2010, Ngoi Sao Ha Noi currently operates two schools in Hanoi. Source: Deal Street Asia

Banking & Finance

  • Under the wing. Construction Bank (CB) is poised to undergo a compulsory transition into becoming a subsidiary of Vietcombank. In a recent interview with the press, the bank's leadership shed further light on this plan, disclosing their anticipation that within approximately six months, Vietcombank will become the parent institution overseeing CB's operations. In May, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) disclosed that it had formally submitted and duly obtained authorised approval for the mandatory transfer directive targeting four banks subject to special regulatory scrutiny: CB, Oceanbank, GPbank, and DongA Bank. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Arm to the Thai bank. Saigon-Hanoi Bank (SHB) has officially announced that it has completed a 50 per cent stake sale of SHB Finance, its consumer finance arm, to Thailand's Krungsri Bank. The two sides will continue cooperating to complete the sale of the remaining 50 per cent in the next three years, subject to approval from the relevant regulators. Source: The Investor


  • FV Hospital. Thomson Medical Group, a healthcare group headquartered in Singapore and backed by Singaporean magnate Peter Lim, is reportedly engaged in negotiations to acquire a controlling stake in FV Hospital. The company has reportedly surpassed other interested candidates to remain in the bidding and is presently collaborating with financial advisors to explore potential acquisition prospects. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Thu Cuc Medical. Vietnamese investment management firm VinaCapital is exploring the sale of its minority stake in Thu Cuc Medical System TCI in a deal that could value the Hanoi private hospital operator at US$150-200 million. It is reported that VinaCapital is in talks with at least one financial investor on the potential sale of its roughly 30 per cent stake in Thu Cuc Medical. Source: Reuters


  • Blowing hot and cold. A Singaporean firm has completed the acquisition of real estate developer Novaland’s F&B business (Nova F&B), and VinaCapital acted as the broker for the deal. The Singaporean buyer’s name and the transaction’s value have not been disclosed. Singapore-headquartered IN Holdings, which is not the buyer, is now the new operator of Nova F&B. Source: The Investor


  • Growth engine. DB Insurance Co., Ltd., a major non-life insurer in South Korea, continues its expansion in the Vietnamese insurance market with the acquisition of a 75 per cent ownership stake in Saigon - Hanoi Insurance Corporation (BSH), following its recent deal to acquire Aviation Insurance, and so positioning itself as a major player in the industry. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Gear up. Vietnamese conglomerate Truong Hai Group is looking for investors to sell a 10 per cent stake in automobile manufacturing and distributing subsidiary Thaco Auto. Ho Chi Minh City Securities Corporation (HSC), Thaco’s financial advisor, is working on this plan. Recently a number of domestic and foreign investors have been working with Thaco and HSC in relation to this plan. Source: VN Express International


  • Final approach. The Vietnamese government has instructed the Commission for the Management of State Capital at Enterprises to facilitate the transfer of the Aviation Fuel Company (Skypec) from Vietnam Airlines to Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN), as part of the ongoing restructuring efforts initiated by the two corporations since September 2022. The proposed transfer of Skypec to PVN aims to support the restructuring process of Vietnam Airlines and enhance PVN's capabilities in the production and supply chain of petroleum products. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Safe landing. Property developer Him Lam has become a new shareholder in Bamboo Airways as the airline seeks to restructure and break-even next year. Him Lam, a Ho Chi Minh City-based company known for developing condominium projects in southern Vietnam, will be a shareholder in the airline from now on, along with two former executives from Japan Airlines. Source: VN Express International

Real Estate

  • Keppel. Singapore conglomerate Keppel Corporation has acquired a 49 per cent stake in two adjacent residential projects in Ho Chi Minh City from Vietnamese property developer Khang Dien for VND3.18 trillion (US$135.42 million). Khang Dien group will hold the remaining 51 per cent interest and jointly develop these projects with Keppel Corporation and Keppel Vietnam Fund, which are jointly known as the Keppel consortium. Source: The Investor

Renewable Energy

  • Blazing sun. AC Energy (Acen), a subsidiary of the Ayala Corporation, has successfully concluded the acquisition of the initial phase of a proposed acquisition of Super Energy Corporation's solar energy business in Vietnam this year at an estimated value of US$165 million. Super Energy Corporation currently operates solar energy projects in Vietnam with a substantial capacity of 837MW through its subsidiary, Solar NT. Under the agreement, Acen is set to obtain a 49 per cent ownership stake in Solar NT through a phased acquisition strategy.  Source: Vietnam Investment Review