Caldera Pacific, Samsung Securities to acquire 40% in Vietnam’s top asset manager

Samsung Securities and Hong Kong-based private equity firm Caldera Pacific are in the process of acquiring a 40 per cent stake in Dragon Capital, one of Vietnam’s top asset managers, according to BusinessKorea.

The Korean newswire said, Samsung Securities will take a 10 per cent stake as a limited partner while Caldera Pacific will participate as a general partner. Together, the two investors will become Dragon Capital’s second largest shareholders.

In a 2016 notice by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the early backer of Dragon Capital, the fund manager’s co-founders, Dominic Scriven and John Shrimpton, collectively owned 70.5 per cent of the company.

An email sent to Dragon Capital did not elicit a response by the time of publishing this article.

Meanwhile, Dragon Capital’s website already states Raphael Gaglio, co-founder and managing partner of Caldera Pacific, as a non-executive director.

In an earlier report in DEALSTREETASIA regarding the Caldera Pacific-led investment in Vietnam-based e-commerce startup LeFlair, the Hong Kong private equity firm, which also has offices in South Korea, was learnt to have links with Dragon Capital.

Meanwhile, Samsung Securities forged a collaboration with a Dragon Capital affiliate in March this year, establishing an alliance to provide brokerage services in Vietnam with Ho Chi Minh City Securities Company, a business in which Dragon Capital owns 30 per cent.

Samsung Securities will fork out a significant part of funds for the acquisition of Dragon Capital, the BusinessKorea reported, attributing the move to Korea’s suspension of issuing bills of lading, which encourages investment banks in the country to look out for other markets.

Vietnam eased regulations for brokerage houses a couple of years ago, allowing wholly foreign owned securities companies to operate in the rising middle class country. Five Korean securities firms have set up their presence through both acquisitions and organic growth, including Mirae Asset Daewoo, NH Investment, Korea Investment and Securities, Golden Bridge and Shinhan Financial Investment.

Korean financial institutions and investors have also ramped up their plays in this Southeast Asian nation, including big acquisitions such as the Keangnam Landmark building purchase by AON Holdings and Mirae Asset and Shinhan Bank acquiring ANZ’s retail business, as well as investments in emerging sectors like the series C funding for tech company Appota led by Korea Investment Partners.

Dragon Capital, founded in 1994 and managing some $2.3 billion assets, has attracted investments by IFC and France’s aid agency Proparco in the past.

It invests in a wide range of assets, including both listed and private equities, fixed income, clean tech and real estate. It is also a partner of the Vietnam Innovative Startup Accelerator and Vietnam Fintech Club.

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