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