Vietnam: Mekong Capital to close 4 new investments in retail, transport, education

Ho Chi Minh City-headquartered private equity firm Mekong Capital expects to close as many as four new investments in the first half of this year, an executive with the company confirmed to this portal.

These investments will be into companies operating in verticals of retail, transport and education, the source added.

Earlier in 2016, Mekong Capital invested an undisclosed amount in logistics firm ABA Corporation, after a $6.9 million investment into restaurant operator Wrap & Roll. These funding rounds were followed by adding pawn shop chain F88 into the portfolio.

The three investments were made by the $122.5 million Mekong Enterprise Fund III, which is expected to facilitate next activities.

Mekong Capital did not reveal the combined value of the planned investments. The Mekong Enterprise Fund III typically invests from $6 million to $15 million in a company.

In the education vertical, in 2010, Mekong Capital invested in Vietnam Australia International School, which is to date its sole company in that space.

Meanwhile, retail has been the fund’s core focus area with its prominent investments being in electronics distributor The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) and restaurant operator Cong Vang (Golden Gate).

The firm secured a 9.1x return from selling Golden Gate to Standard Chartered Private Equity in 2014.

Exits in 2016 included full divestments of Phu Nhuan Jewelry, tech firm FPT Corporation and two real estate companies Intresco and Nam Long; as well as several partial exits of Mobile World. The most recent exit of Mobile World in the fourth quarter of 2016 was at a price per share of 89x compared to the original purchase price in 2007.

In addition, Mekong Capital has recently scored the “Frontier Market Firm of the year in Asia” award for 2016 by Private Equity International.

This is the fourth successive year of Mekong Capital winning an award by Private Equity International, the company said in an announcement.

“This is a great honor for our team, and also reflects the strong track record that is emerging in Vietnam’s private equity industry in general,” commented Chris Freund, founder and Partner of Mekong Capital.

The PE investor has completed 31 private equity investments in Vietnam, of which 20 have been fully exited.

Also read:

Mekong Capital invests in Vietnam-based pawn shop chain F88

Vietnam 2016: Mekong, KKR, Vinacapital record PE exits

Vietnam: Mekong Capital invests in logistics firm ABA Corp from new fund

Mekong Capital invests $6.9m in Vietnamese restaurant chain Wrap & Roll

Vietnam: Mekong Capital appoints first female partners

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.