Foreign investors dominate Vietnam’s M&A deals

By Dam Tuan   July 27, 2016 | 01:41 am PT
Investors from Thailand, Singapore and Japan have been spending big in Vietnam.

Nine out of Vietnam’s top 10 largest mergers and acquisitions in 2015-2016 involved foreign investors, led by Thailand’s Central Group's acquisition of Big C Vietnam for $1.14 billion.

Vietnam’s M&A market has been active with foreign investment reaching a record of $5.2 billion in 2015. In the first seven months of 2016, the estimated value of M&As was over $3 billion, a sharp hike of 28 percent from the same period last year, according to the M&A Vietnam Forum.

This is likely to continue for the rest of the year with the retail, consumption and real estate sectors catching foreign investors' eyes.


The retail and consumption sectors are enticing foreign investors in the M&A wave. Photo courtesy of

The consumer sector holds huge potential in Vietnam, and Thai investors have been pouring in on the back of Central Group's massive deal.

The three largest deals all involve Thai investors. Besides Big C Vietnam, Singha invested $1.1 billion in Vietnamese food & beverage manufacturer Masan Consumer and Masan Brewery, and TCC Holding purchased Metro Vietnam Cash & Carry for $711 million.

Korean and two Singaporean investors are focusing on the real estate sector with acquisitions by giants like Keppel Land, Mapletree and Capita Land. Real estate investors from Singapore are heading to Ho Chi Minh City, with buildings and hotels in prime locations.

The Foreign Investment Agency under the Ministry of Planning and Investment said that of the total investment from state members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Vietnam, real estate accounted for 30 percent with  97 projects as of June 30, and Singapore made up nearly 80 percent of those.

Following in the list were Japanese investors who invested in state owned enterprises and Hau Giang Pharmacy. JX Nippon Oil & Energy acquired an eight percent stake worth $183 million in Petrolimex, ANA Holdings purchased 8.77 percent ($108 million) in Vietnam Airlines and Taisho recently acquired 24 percent in Hau Giang Pharmacy.

Vietnam’s top 10 M&A deals in 2015-2016

No. Sector Bidder Bidder's nationality Target Percent Value ($ million)
1 Retail Central Group Thai Big C Vietnam (seller: Casino Group) 100 1,140
2 Food&Beverage Singha Thai Masan Consumer Holdings (25%), Masan Brewery (33.3%) 25 & 33.3 1,100
3 Retail TCC Holding Thai Metro Vietnam Cash&Carry 100 711
4 Real Estate Mirae Asset, AON BGN Korean Keangnam Landmark Tower 72 100 382
5 Real Estate Keppel Land Ltd Singaporean Empire City 100 234
6 Real Estate Mapletree Singaporean Kumho Asiana Plaza (seller: Kumho Industrial and Asiana Airlines) 100 215
7 Petroleum JX Nippon Oil & Energy Japanese Petrolimex 8 183
8 Airlines ANA Holdings Japanese Vietnam Airlines 8.77 108
9 Pharmaceuticals Taisho Japanese Hau Giang Pharmaceuticals 24 100
10 Food&Beverage Masan Nutri-Science Vietnamese Vissan 24.9 96.8

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