Pico yet to confirm Thai group's 49% stake

Tuesday, Jun 16, 2015 16:54

Pico is one of the five largest electronics retailer in Ha Noi — Photo cafef.vn
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — Although the local media has reported that Thailand's Central Group has purchased 49 per cent of Pico, the representatives of either party have yet to confirm the deal.

Pico is one of the five largest electronics retailers in Ha Noi.

According to the local media, Central Group, the retail arm of Thailand's richest billionaire Tos Chirathivat, which holds 49 per cent stake in Viet Nam's leading electronics retailer Nguyen Kim, is negotiating to buy popular electronics retailer Pico.

Meanwhile, on June 15, Biz Hub managed to reach Nguyen Thi Hong, Head of Public Relations of Central Group in Viet Nam, via phone, but she gave no comment on the matter.

Also, Vu Thi Ngoc Hue, Pico's marketing director, told Biz Hub that if there is any news, it will be announced by Pico.

Refusing to give any confirmation about the deal, Hue said, "amid severe competition in the local electronics retail market, any enterprise will want to make the best choice."

Hue noted that if strong foreign enterprises with good experience want to buy a part of or an entire local business, they must consider the strengths as well as the business performance of that local brand.

Hue added that if Pico ties up with a major group, it will not only benefit Pico but will also bring more value-added products to local consumers.

Hue told Biz Hub that "a major deal cannot be made in one or two days."

Vietnamese media reported that Pico's acquisition showed Central Group's ambition to reinforce its presence in Viet Nam, after opening two Robins shopping malls in Ha Noi and HCM City and acquiring a leading electronics retailer in Nguyen Kim. By 2019, Nguyen Kim is expected to launch 50 stores all over the country, while Pico is planning to increase its chain to 20 stores from the present six.

When he opened the first Robins Department Store in Ha Noi, Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO of Central Group Tos Chirathivat said that with a population of 90 million, including over 60 per cent workforce with high purchasing power, Viet Nam was a target market, with high potential for growth and an excellent destination for investors in the retail sector.

The local retail market volume was estimated at US$123.8 billion by the end of 2013; it is predicted to grow by about 12 per cent compared to last year, according to a report from researchandmarkets.com.

The report also said that although Viet Nam's economy has seen a slow growth in the past three years, the retail market continued to attract global and regional players.

German Statista, a statistics portal service, has predicted that Viet Nam's retail market will record sales worth $104 billion per year by 2016, in which the electronics industry will contribute $10 billion. Statista has also forecasted an increasing trend in coming years.

In June, one of the most popular electronics retailers in the north of Viet Nam, Tran Anh Digital, sealed a strategic partnership with Japanese investor Nojima Corporation, which, in the same month, officially increased its stake in Tran Anh Digital to nearly 31 per cent. — VNS

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