Masan, Singha team up in $1.1 billion deal

Friday, Dec 25, 2015 18:26


Products of Masan Group Corporation are displayed at a supermarket. — VNS Photo Đon Tùng

HA NOI – Masan Group Corporation (MSN) yesterday announced the signing of a partnership agreement with Thailand's Singha Asia Holding Pte Ltd, in a partnership worth as much as US$1.1 billion.

The new partnership calls for Singha to own a 25 per cent stake in Masan Consumer Holdings, an important unit of Masan Group, and 33.3 per cent of Masan Brewery, in which Masan Consumer will hold the balance of 66.7 per cent.

The agreement is expected to become effective in January 2016, the group said in a press statement released yesterday.

Shares of Masan Group climbed 6.4 per cent yesterday on the HCM Stock Exchange, reaching VND75,000 ($3.33) per share.

Singha Asia is a member of Thailand's first and largest brewery, Boon Rawd Brewery, founded in 1933. The company owns a number of popular brand names, such as Singha, Leo, B-ing, Purra and Savon. It is seeking to expand and diversify its business into manufacturing, packaging, agriculture, real estate, food and restaurants through over 50 affiliated companies.

Meanwhile, Masan Consumer is an important unit of Masan Group, one of Viet Nam's largest private companies. It has built leading businesses in the food and beverage sector and is the producer of some of Viet Nam's most renowned brands, such as Chin-su, Nam Ngu, Tam Thai Tu, Omachi, Kokomi, Vinacafe, Vinh Hao and Su Tu Trang.

Through the partnership, the two companies expect to expand their market presence in the combined food and beverage industry to the region with a focus on inland ASEAN countries (Viet Nam, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos), which have a total consumer base of nearly 250 million.

"The partnership between Masan and Singha is unique, as it is rare for two leading ASEAN platforms to team up," said Masan chairman Nguyen Dang Quang, who believes the agreement will lead to new levels of value for the company.

Palit Bhirombhakdi, CEO of Singha Asia, is also confident that with Singha as a partner, Masan will directly penetrate into Thailand's 65 million consumer market, where Vietnamese fish sauce and coffee are appreciated for their unique flavor and origin.

"In addition, Masan's strong distribution platform, which reaches all corners of Viet Nam, will allow Singha to access a fast growing market of more than 90 million consumers and support the expansion of newer categories," Palit said.

Earlier, Viet Nam's largest brewer, Sai Gon Beer Alcohol and Beverage Corporation, better known as Sabeco, reported that Singha Asia expressed an interest in purchasing shares of Sabeco. The Vietnamese Government owns 89.59 per cent of Sabeco, but it is seeking to reduce the holding to a minority 36 per cent through the sales of shares to strategic investors and the public.

However, in a meeting with the Ministry of Industry and Trade on December 21, Sabeco officials said it would not sell major stakes to overseas investors, even as foreign companies. – VNS

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