Jardine Cycle buys 5.5 pct stake in Vinamilk for $617 mln

By Reuters   November 13, 2017 | 12:19 pm GMT+7
Jardine Cycle buys 5.5 pct stake in Vinamilk for $617 mln
Vinamilk products are displayed for sale at a store in Hanoi. Photo by Reuters

Shares in Vietnam's largest listed firm responded to the news on Monday by reaching a record high.

Singapore-listed Jardine Cycle and Carriage Ltd said on Monday that one of its units has agreed to buy a 5.53 percent stake in Vietnamese dairy firm Vinamilk, the country’s biggest listed company, for $616.6 million.

Vinamilk is among a handful of state assets that are attracting significant interest from foreign investors as the government works to reform state-owned enterprises.

Jardine Cycle, part of the diversified Jardine Matheson group, said it bought the shares on the open market and at an auction held by the State Capital Investment Commission of Vietnam (SCIC).

“The taking of this relevant interest in Vinamilk is in line with JC&C group’s strategy of investing in market leading companies in Southeast Asia,” it said in a filing to the Singapore bourse on Monday.

The deal increases Jardine Cycle’s exposure to the Vietnamese economy, and it remains open to making further such investments, it added.

The Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange said last week that an overseas investor had bought a stake in Vinamilk, but did not reveal the buyer.

Last year, the SCIC offered to sell 9 percent of Vinamilk but sold only 5.4 percent. Investors looking to gain a degree of control over Vinamilk were partly deterred by the size of stake on offer.

Vinamilk shares rose nearly 4 percent on Monday to a record VND181,500.