AEON sells stake in Vietnamese supermarket chain

By Thi Ha   September 29, 2018 | 04:15 am PT
AEON sells stake in Vietnamese supermarket chain
A Fivimart supermarket in Hanoi is seen with the AEON logo on the left covered on September 28, 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Son
Japanese retail company AEON has closed its cooperation with Vietnamese shopping market chain Fivimart, a source has told VnExpress.

A senior AEON official, who asked not to be named, said that the company has sold its entire stake in Fivimart to a Vietnamese firm after three years of cooperation.

The source did not reveal the value of the deal.

Starting Friday, the AEON logo has been covered in many Fivimart supermarkets. The company’s official Facebook fanpage updated a new profile picture without the AEON logo and its website says “under upgrade and construction.”

In 2015, AEON acquired a 30 percent stake in Fivimart from its owner Nhat Nam Joint Stock Company. Fivimart outlets have risen from 10 then to 23 now.

The deal saw Fivimart’s revenue increase, by as much as 20 percent a year for some time.

But the company has been reporting losses for the last three years, attributing it to high costs. It lost 60 billion ($2.58 million) in 2015, VND96 billion ($4.13 million) in 2016 and VND23 billion ($989,600) last year.

At the end of last year, Fivimart reported an accumulated loss of almost VND200 billion ($8.6 million), with a debt of VND823 billion ($35.41 million) which is equivalent to the company's total asset value.

AEON joined the Vietnamese market in 2008. In 2011, its member, the Ministop convenience store chain, cooperated with Vietnamese coffee firm Trung Nguyen to launch G7-Ministop convenience stores.

The deal didn’t work out, and Ministop closed the deal in 2015 and turned to partner with Japanese Sojitz, looking to open 800 stores in the next eight years.

AEON also partners with local supermarket chain Citimart, which reported a loss of VND91 billion ($3.91 million) in 2015 and VND33 billion ($1.41 million) in 2016. 

Citimart’s accumulated loss by the end of 2016 was VND157 billion ($6.75 million).

AEON has four shopping malls in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and the southern province of Binh Duong. 

It is constructing another mall in Hanoi and one in the northern Hai Phong city, with a goal to have 20 malls in the country by 2020.

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