Food giant Masan seeks NET Detergent acquisition

By Phuong Dong   December 24, 2019 | 06:30 am PT
Food giant Masan seeks NET Detergent acquisition
NETCO is a leading local manufacturer of household and washing products. Photo courtesy of Sao Kim.
A subsidiary of food conglomerate Masan Group has publicly offered to acquire a 60 percent stake in NET Detergent JSC (NETCO), which manufactures washing products.  

Masan Consumer Corporation, the consumer goods arm of Masan Group, has made an invitation to tender for the aforementioned stake at a price of VND48,000 ($2.07) per share. The offering implies NET's full valuation is $46 million, the company said in a press release Tuesday. 

NETCO, currently holding a 1.5 percent share in Vietnam’s home and personal care (HPC) market with around 300,000 points of sale, will provide a strategic entry point to the HPC market, Masan stated. 

The HPC market is one of the largest and most attractive consumer sectors in Vietnam with a total size of $3.1 billion and fast-growing opportunities to develop local power brands. The acquisition also aligns with Masan’s 5-year strategy to broaden its product portfolio, which serves 100 million Vietnamese consumers, it said in the statement. 

NETCO, established in 1968, is a leading local manufacturer of household and washing products. In 2018, it recorded revenues of VND1.12 trillion ($48.35 million) and post-tax profits of VND57 billion ($2.46 million), primarily driven by popular laundry detergent brands, NET and NETSOFT, Masan said. 

According to the Hanoi Stock Exchange, on which NETCO’s shares are listed, the company’s shareholder structure had undergone many changes this year. 

In early July, state-owned chemical giant Vinachem, NETCO’s biggest shareholder, reduced its stake from 51 percent to 36 percent pursuant to a state divestment schedule. In mid-September, Finland’s Jom Silkkitie Asia Equity Investment Fund had reduced ownership in the company from 5.29 percent to 3.57 percent in September. 

And only a week ago, Bahamas-based America LLC sold its entire 9.33 percent stake in the detergent powder producer. 

NET shares opened on Tuesday’s morning session at a price of VND39,000 ($1.68) per share, but jumped 10 percent to VND42,900 ($1.85), its ceiling price after the invitation to tender was announced, closing at this price. 

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