American fund acquires stake in Vietnamese organic food firm

By Thi Ha   January 10, 2019 | 03:48 am PT
American fund acquires stake in Vietnamese organic food firm
A woman goes shopping for organic fruits in a supermarket in Hanoi. Photo by Shutterstock
The Seaf Women’s Opportunity Fund has acquired a 30 percent stake in Organica, promising the Vietnam all-round support.

While not mentioning the specific investment value, Jennifer Buckley, SEAF’s senior managing director, said the fund will support Organica in operations, distribution, and network expansion.

In addition to being a strategic shareholder, the fund will also give Organica a 5-year loan so that it has sufficient resources to finance expansion plans in the future.

"This is the first organic food company in Vietnam we have decided to invest in, even though the market [for organic products] is still small," said Jennifer Buckley. She added that if the company performed well, the fund may acquire it in full in the future.

Pham Phuong Thao, CEO of Organica, said that the current investment will be enough for the company to implement a 2-3 year plan. In particular, it plans to open more retail stores, improve online sales systems, IT systems and human resources, Thao said.

Organica is an organic groceries chain established in 2013 with the first store in Ho Chi Minh City. It now has 5 stores in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang. Currently, the company has 10 farms in the South and the Central Highlands, totalling a combined area of 300 ha.

SEAF (Small Enterprise Assistance Funds) is an international investment management group that provides growth capital and business assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging and transition markets.

It currently operates in 30 countries and has investments in over 300 small businesses.

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