PAN Group bids for complete ownership of confectionary maker Bibica

By Phuong Dong    July 15, 2019 | 06:31 am PT
PAN Group bids for complete ownership of confectionary maker Bibica
A worker at a confectionery factory in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Shutterstock/ Phuong D. Nguyen.
Agricultural corporation PAN Group has made a bid for 7.7 million shares of Bibica, targeting a 100 percent stake.

These shares are currently held by South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group and other small shareholders, amounting to 49.93 percent of Bibica’s (stock code: BBC) chartered capital. The Korean conglomerate holds 44.03 percent.

PAN Group currently owns 50.07 percent of the confectionary company through a subsdiary, PAN Food JSC. Acquiring absolute ownership would help it make long-term investments in the company, the group said.

With an offer price of VND68,500 ($3) per share, the group is expected to raise VND530 billion ($22.82 million) to fund its purchase. The transactions are expected to take place within 30-60 days after the approval of the State Securities Commission, which is pending.

On the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange (HoSE), BBC shares of Bibica had been seeing a downwards trend in the first two weeks of July, but surged 6.4 percent to VND65,200 after PAN Group went public with purchase offer.

In 2012, two major shareholders of Bibica, South Korean Lotte Group and securities firm Saigon Securities Incorporation (SSI) began a race to raise ownership in the confectionary firm. In August 2013, Lotte won the race with a 38.6 percent stake in Bibica, with SSI as its second largest shareholder with 20.7 percent.

With this division, internal disputes between the two major shareholders held the company’s operations back for several years.

In 2015, the company achieved more stability after PAN Food bought SSI’s stake to hold a 42.3 percent stake. The power struggle continued, with the difference in ownership coming as close as 0.3 percent at one point during the year.

In February 2017, PAN Food made successful public bids for shares of Bibica to raise its stake to 50.07 percent, effectively outranking Lotte’s 44.03 percent.

Bibica recorded VND1.42 trillion ($61.32 million) in revenue and after-tax profit of nearly VND110 billion ($4.75 million) in 2018. On average, in the last 5 years, revenue only grew by 4.8 percent per year but after-tax profits grew by 13 percent yearly.

Bibica is well known for its pies, sponge cakes, moon cakes and biscuits. PAN Group operates in various agricultural sectors, including coffee, sunflower seeds, fish sauce and seafood. 

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