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Vietnam M&A Spotlight - April 2024

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 have recently published the note on 2024 Land Law which was passed by the National Assembly of Vietnam on 18 January 2024. In this note, we summarize the key changes of the 2024 Land Law that will impact M&A when it comes to real estate assets in Vietnam. Please reach out to us if you would like to discuss with us in more details. Source: Freshfields website



  • Let’s pray for no more delays. During a government meeting over poor-performing projects under the Ministry of Industry and Trade last month, Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai stressed that the restructuring of the Dung Quat Shipyard (DQS), a subsidiary of the Vietnam Oil & Gas Group (PVN), cannot be delayed any longer and progress and potential solutions must be reported to the Political Bureau on time. Source: Vietnam News

Banking and finance

  • SCB. Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) has signed a sale and purchase agreement to acquire 100 per cent of the charter capital of consumer finance firm Home Credit Vietnam for VND20,973 billion (US$851 million). Home Credit Vietnam has the second largest market share in Vietnam’s rapidly growing consumer finance market, accounting for approximately 14 per cent as of 30 June 2023. Source: The Investor
  • ACB. An investment vehicle linked to CVC Capital Partners has disposed of its entire 5 per cent stake in Vietnam's fourth biggest non-state owned commercial lender, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), for US$220 million. CVC invested in ACB in 2017, but financial details of the investment were undisclosed. Source: Reuters
  • VPBank. VPBank has outlined documentation in its 2024 AGM of its intention to undertake a compulsory acquisition of a struggling financial institution. This move is highlighted as part of VPBank's strategic objectives for the year. Specific details about the weak financial institution VPBank plans to absorb were not disclosed in the AGM documentation. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Still a room. Contrary to the current quietness of the life insurance industry, the non-life insurance industry has seen large acquisition deals of foreign investors. Both Vietnam National Aviation Insurance JSC (VNI) and Saigon - Hanoi Insurance (BSH) announced in Feb as their strategic shareholder South Korea’s DB Insurance Co., Ltd (DBI). Accordingly, BSH shareholders finalised a contract to transfer 75 per cent of BSH shares to DBI, while VNI shareholders also approved a plan for DBI to receive the transfer of 75 million VNI shares, equivalent to 75 per cent of VNI charter capital. Source: Vietnam News


  • Eying opportunities. US private equity firm KKR has acquired a majority stake in Medical Saigon Group (MSG), becoming the largest shareholder of the eye hospital chain. KKR will take over as MSG’s largest shareholder from Heliconia Capital, a wholly owned unit of Singapore's state investment firm Temasek Holdings. Heliconia acquired MSG in 2019. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Investing in children, investing in the future. Navis Capital Partners-backed Vietnamese education firm IGC has acquired Hong Duc School, a private K-12 school in the outskirts of Hanoi. The acquisition is a part of IGC expansion strategy which includes tier 2 areas and new cities in northern Vietnam and adding to the company’s presence in southern Vietnam. It had 23 campuses as of September 2023. Source: Deal Street Asia


  • Shopping - 1. CDH, one of China's biggest alternative investment firms, completed an investment for a minority interest in supermarket chain Bach Hoa Xanh (BHX) after outbidding Singaporean and Thai rivals. Bach Hoa Xanh Investment is a subsidiary of Mobile World Investment Corporation (Mobile World) which will remain the controlling shareholder of BHX, next to CDH Investments and the company’s management. BHX has the network of around 1,700 stores across southern and south-central Vietnam.  Source: Vietnam Investment Review
  • Shopping - 2. Four companies have bought a 55 per cent stake in a holding company that owns shares in mall operator Vincom Retail, after conglomerate Vingroup divested from it. Vingroup has completed the sale of 55 per cent of SDI Trading Development and Investment, which owns a 99 per cent stake in Sado, the biggest shareholder of Vincom Retail with a 41.5 per cent stake. It now indirectly owns 18.4 per cent of Vincom Retail after the transaction. Source: VN Express International
  • Bottled in. Swire Coca-Cola Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Swire Pacific Ltd., announced in January the completion of its acquisition of Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam Ltd., the Coca-Cola bottling subsidiary in Vietnam. As of the completion of the deal, Swire Coca-Cola now owns and operates three beverage production facilities, 18 production lines, and six distribution centres across Vietnam with a direct and indirect workforce of over 3,500 people. Source: Vietnam Investment Review


  • Struggle to take off. Given its protracted financial woes, Pacific Airlines is working on a restructuring plan, which includes leasing aircraft from its parent company Vietnam Airlines and sharing facilities with the national flag carrier. It has been reported that Pacific Airlines had returned all of its jetliners to aircraft leasing firms. Source: The Saigon Times
  • Be my partner. Be Holdings, the owner of ride-hailing company Be Group, has received a VND740 billion (US$30.32 million) investment from VPBank Securities. Be Group did not disclose VPBank Securities’ post-investment full ownership stake in the firm, but announced in a release that the investment would help the company expand and offer new services towards its stated goal of serving 20 million users across Vietnam. Source: VN Express International 


  • Paving the way to LNG. Singapore-headquartered AG&P LNG, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based Nebula Energy, announced that it has acquired a 49 per cent stake in Cai Mep LNG terminal in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau. Fully constructed, the Cai Mep LNG terminal was developed by local firm Hai Linh Company Limited. The facility has pipeline connectivity to Vietnam’s largest power generation complex, the Phu My industrial zone, with a gas-fired capacity of 3.9 GW. Source: The Investor

Renewable Energy

  • Hope for zero waste. BCG Energy of private Vietnamese conglomerate Bamboo Capital group is set to enter the waste-to-power sector with the acquisition of Ho Chi Minh City-based waste treatment firm Tam Sinh Nghia Investment Development JSC. After the acquisition, BCG Energy will build two Tam Sinh Nghia waste-to-power plants in Ho Chi Minh City and the neighbouring province of Long An. Source: The Investor