U.S. firm KKR pumps $250 mln in Vietnam’s Masan Group

By Thanh Thu   April 3, 2017 | 04:50 am PT
U.S. firm KKR pumps $250 mln in Vietnam’s Masan Group
A worker checks products of Masan in its factory. Photo by VnExpress
More than half of the investment is poured into Masan’s meat subsidiary.

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP, a U.S.-based leading global investment firm, has invested US$250 million in Vietnamese Masan Group Corp and its meat unit, the Vietnamese firm said Monday.

As much as $100 million were used to buy secondary shares of Masan Group from Danish independent private equity company PENM Partners, and another $150 million were poured in to buy 7.5 percent in Masan Nutri-Science, Masan said in a statement. The group is Vietnam's ninth biggest listed firm in terms of market capitalization.

The investment is KKR's second in Masan, after a divestment last year of $359 million, which the U.S. firm had placed in Masan Consumer between 2011 and 2013. 

“Vietnam holds great opportunity with its growing economy and favorable demographic trends," Ashish Shastry, member of KKR and Head of KKR Southeast Asia, was quoted as saying in the statement. "KKR is committed to investing in the market by partnering with leading companies such as Masan Nutri-Science.”

Nguyen Dang Quang, chairman of Masan Group, said with KKR's investment, Masan will be in a stronger position to serve the daily basic needs of millions of consumers in Vietnam, where daily essentials such as packaged food and beverage, fresh food and financial services take up half of the average person's wallet share.

Masan said KKR's global network with significant agricultural experience will help Masan Nutri-Science "to become the first integrated consumer meat platform in Vietnam", where the meat sector is valued at up to $18 billion.

Masan Group’s net profit last year jumped 49 percent from 2015 to VND3.77 trillion dong ($166 million), as revenues rose 41.4 percent in the same period to VND43.3 trillion, Masan Group said in its audited financial statement for 2016.

The revenue growth last year is built on a 6.5 percent expansion in the sales of beverage and foodstuff, while agricultural business revenue soared 73.8 percent and natural resources sales also jumped 52.3 percent from 2015, Masan said in a statement in late March.

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