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Vietnamese investors remain indifferent to Big C deal

VietNamNet Bridge - At least five foreign investors have announced they will vie to acquire Big C Vietnam but Vietnamese investors remain indifferent to the deal.

VietNamNet Bridge - At least five foreign investors have announced they will vie to acquire Big C Vietnam but Vietnamese investors remain indifferent to the deal.


The five foreign investors include two from Thailand, Berli Jucker and Central Group, Lotte Shopping from South Korea, Dairy Farm from Singapore and Aeon from Japan.

All of the potential buyers are foreign retailers who are present in the Vietnamese market.

A branding expert said that retailers will be able to save seven years of time and big money developing a new retail chain.

However, Vietnamese investors show no interest.  including Vinmart, belonging to Vingroup, the conglomerate owned by the Vietnamese dollar billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, and Saigon Co-op, which holds the largest market share. 

All of the potential buyers are foreign retailers who are present in the Vietnamese market

Vu Vinh Phu, chair of the Hanoi Supermarket Association, thinks that Vietnamese investors don’t intend to buy Big C because they don’t have money.

“How can they take over Big C if they don’t have money?” he said.

Saigon Co-op, though holding the biggest market share, only has VND1 trillion in chartered capital. Meanwhile, Big C is valued at $900 million.

Hapro also cannot buy Big C. It was once a big player in the retail market, but its network in Hanoi only makes up 2 percent of revenue. 

A lot of takeover deals have been made in the retail markets. However, in most cases, Vietnamese are the sellers, not buyers. 

Phu believes those investors who eye Big C, would try to acquire at least 51 percent of Big C’s stake, a stake big enough to bring them the right to manage the retail chain..

Also according to Phu, Casino Group, which plans to sell Big C to settle its debts, would try to sell 100 percent of its stake in the retail chain, rather than a part of stake. And it did this with Big C Thailand.

Big C Thailand was sold to TCC at $3.1 billion. TCC is the investor who has acquired Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam.

If TCC succeeds in acquiring Big C, it will be able to create a very large retail network with 31 Big Cs, 10 New Cho convenience stores and 19 Metro supermarkets.

Meanwhile, an analyst, disagreeing with Phu about the limited financial power, said Vietnam does not lack investors who have huge capital. “The problem depends on if they want Big C or not,” he said.

Tri Thuc Tre


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