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Vietnam M&A Spotlight - August 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.


Banking & Finance

  • On the market. Saigon-Hanoi Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SHB) is engaged in discussions to offload up to a fifth of its equity to overseas investors. The impending deal, which values the Vietnamese lender at between US$2 billion and $2.2 billion, is attracting considerable interest from a host of investors, notably those hailing from South Korea and Japan. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Sold. Private lender SeABank is set to sell nearly 95 million shares, a 4.63 per cent stake, to Norwegian Investment Fund. The bank is set to fetch over VND1.2 trillion (US$50.5 million) from the sale. The transaction is set to be carried out this year or at another time specified by SeABank’s board. SeABank is one of few lenders in Vietnam that does not have a strategic foreign investor. Source: VN Express International


  • Riding the rising tide, setting records. Thomson Medical Group Ltd. (TMG) announced last month that it has agreed to acquire Vietnam’s FV Hospital for up to US$381.4 million, marking the country’s biggest healthcare transaction to date and Southeast Asia’s largest healthcare acquisition since 2020. Under the terms of the sales and purchase agreement, TMG has agreed to acquire all of Far East Medical Vietnam Ltd. (FEMV). FEMV operates a range of healthcare facilities in Vietnam, including the multidisciplinary tertiary FV Hospital and a network of primary and specialist clinics. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Another example of the healthcare theme. American private equity firm KKR is understood to be investing in Vietnam-based Medical Saigon Group (MSG), paving the way for an exit for Temasek-backed Heliconia Capital, which invested in the healthcare company in 2019. MSG was established in 2004 as Vietnam’s first private ophthalmology hospital and has 18 facilities across Vietnam. Source: Deal Street Asia
  • Variation on a theme – 1. Hoan My Medical Group, one of the private healthcare groups in Vietnam, has inked a new strategic partnership with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards International (ACHSI) to improve the quality of care and patient safety standards in Vietnam. Under the partnership, Hoan My will deploy standards under ACHSI’s global accreditation programme to ensure the highest international standards for the delivery of healthcare outcomes and patient experience in all Hoan My facilities. Hoan My has a private healthcare network with 14 hospitals and 7 clinics. Source: Vietnam News
  • Variation on a theme – 2. South Korea’s Dongwha Pharm announced that it will acquire a 51 per cent stake in Vietnam’s Trung Son Pharma for KRW39.12 billion (US$29.86 million). In a filing with the Korea Stock Exchange, Dongwha Pharm, the first South Korean pharmaceutical company established in 1897, said the deal, equivalent to 12.15 million shares, is slated for completion in October. Source: The Investor


  • Fast debut. Vietnamese EV maker VinFast was officially traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market following the completion of the business combination with Black Spade Acquisition Co (Black Spade). The Vietnamese company’s shares will be traded under the ticker symbol VFS, with an equity value of over US$23 billion. Source: Vietnam News


  • The reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated? Bamboo Airways has assured the public that all operations and flights are continuing normally, refuting rumours surfacing social media that the carrier has filed for bankruptcy. Though Bamboo Airways has been facing difficulties, the firm is still making efforts to restructure itself and at the same time call for investment from its partners.  Source: Vietnam Net 

Oil & Gas

  • What’s in a name? Big Energy JSC under Vietnamese conglomerate Bitexco Group has announced it will acquire a stake in oil-gas Block 12W for US$84 million. London-based Harbour Energy announced the sale of its business in Vietnam to Big Energy and the transaction included a 53.125 per cent interest in the block, situated in the Nam Con Son basin off southern Vietnam. The sale, which is subject to approval by the Vietnamese government and should be completed by end-2023, will result in Harbour Energy exiting Vietnam. Source: The Investor

Renewable Energy

  • Selling the small stuff. Vietnamese conglomerate Gelex Corporation is currently engaged in negotiations to divest its stakes in some power projects to foreign investors. Looking ahead, the corporation is strategically inclined to concentrate on the development of larger-scale renewable energy ventures, forging alliances with significant partners. As part of this strategic realignment, the company intends to divest its current smaller-scale projects to potential buyers, thereby generating capital to fuel its overarching strategic initiatives. Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Sunny days ahead. Southeast Asia-focused energy company Coro Energy says it is in talks with Capton Energy for the latter to buy into and invest in its Vietnamese solar power portfolio. Dubai-based Capton is a joint venture between Siemens Financial Services, an arm of German giant group Siemens AG, and Saudi Arabia’s solar power developer Desert Technologies. The funding proposal received by Coro is that Capton buys into Coro's current Vietnamese solar projects and provides investment into its project pipeline of up to 50MW. Source: The Investor

Real Estate

  • Shopping for opportunities in a choppy market. Gamuda Land, a property arm of Malaysian Gamuda Bhd, has signed a share transfer agreement to acquire Tam Luc Real Estate Corporation, which owns a 3.68 hectare project site in Thu Duc City in Ho Chi Minh City for US$315.8 million. Gamuda intends to develop the site into a mixed-use high-rise project consisting of 1,968 exclusive apartments, 12 penthouses, 51 podium shops and 21 shophouse units across six towers of up to 40 levels. The development plan is set to be fully developed and sold within five years. This is the third project acquired by Gamuda Land in the last 24 months. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • The pursuit of the benefits of diversification continues. Apple supplier Wistron’s board of directors (BOD) has recently approved a proposal to inject an additional US$24.5 million into its new manufacturing subsidiary in Vietnam in line with the electronics maker’s business expansion and strategic planning. Wistron has so far invested about US$300 million in Vietnam, not including the new US$24.5 million approved by the BOD. It operates one facility in Ha Nam province, about 50km south of Hanoi. Source: The Investor