Vietnamese automaker acquires South Korean retail chain

By Phuong Dong   May 19, 2021 | 06:00 am PT
Vietnamese automaker acquires South Korean retail chain
The E-mart megamarket in Go Vap District, HCMC. Photo courtesy of E-mart Vietnam Co.
Automaker THACO, owned by billionaire Tran Ba Duong, has concluded negotiations to acquire a 100 percent stake in E-mart Vietnam Co.

A THACO spokesperson told VnExpress that the agreement will be signed this week.

South Korean retail giant E-mart, owned by the Shinsegae Group, will stop operating its outlets in the country. Under the buyout deal, THACO will operate the chain as a franchisee and pay royalty to E-mart.

The South Korean established the E-mart Vietnam Co. in 2014 after three years of doing market research in the country.

It opened its first megamarket in HCMC’s Go Vap District at the end of 2015, covering an area of 12,000 square meters. The megamarket consists of a shopping area, restaurants and a kids' playground.

It hiked its charter capital by 62.5 percent to VND2.7 trillion ($117.8 million) in 2018.

The E-mart Vietnam management board said 95 percent of products it sold were domestically produced.

Rumors had surfaced at the end of last year that E-mart will exit the Vietnam retail market, but the company denied them.

South Korean newspaper The Korea Times cited the retail giant as saying it was selling its Vietnam operations due to difficulties in expanding the business. It had planned to open a second megamarket in HCMC’s Tan Phu District in mid-2018, but the plan was not realized.

THACO has announced plans to open 10 supermarkets in Vietnam by 2025.

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