HAGL seeks to sell 6.77 pct stake in agriculture subsidiary

July 9, 2019 | 12:54 am PT
HAGL seeks to sell 6.77 pct stake in agriculture subsidiary
Agrico mainly grows passion fruit, banana, chili, and dragon fruit for domestic consumption and exports. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Dong.
Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group will sell a 6.77 percent stake in subsidiary Hoang Anh Gia Lai Agriculture JSC to restructure its finances.

It registered to sell 60 million shares of the firm (Agrico) between July 12 and August 10 on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange Monday.

With Agrico (HNG) trading at around VND18,700 (80 cents), the deal is expected to fetch VND1.1 trillion ($47.32 million). It will reduce Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group’s ownership in the company to 51.04 percent.

Analysts have speculated that leading auto firm Truong Hai Auto Corporation (Thaco), or persons related to it, will buy the shares. In the last few months Thaco and its member companies have been consistently increasing their ownership in Agrico.

The most recent transaction was last week when Tran Oanh Co., Ltd., an auto dealership owned by Thaco, bought four million shares, equivalent to 0.45 percent, to increase the holdings of Thaco and its associates to 13.12 percent.

In April Thaco bought the use right of 2,000 hectares of land from Agrico for VND6.2 trillion ($266.85 million) and signed a deal with it to grow fruits in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for export.

It has also bailed Agrico out of financial difficulties, loaning VND1.58 trillion ($68 million) to pay off debts owed by Agrico.

Overall, Thaco had invested close to VND22 trillion ($945 million) in the company as equity and loans to help repay debts and develop orchards.

Its first quarter financial statement showed Agrico had more than VND20.2 trillion ($869 million) worth of debts, mostly loans from domestic banks and bonds.

Agrico has been growing mostly fruits since 2016. Last year passion fruit, banana, chili, and dragon fruit fetched it VND1.4 trillion ($60.37 million), or around 84 percent of total revenues.

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