Vietnam’s VI Group plans IPO of some consumer services businesses

Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam. Photo: Pixabay

After deploying nearly 50 per cent of VI Fund III, a closed-end private equity fund with capitalization of $252 million, Vietnam Investment Group (VI Group) is preparing for an initial public offering of some of its consumer services businesses, David Do, Managing Director of the PE firm told DEALSTREETASIA in an interaction.

“In the next 18 months, the fund will focus on developing the companies in its portfolio until they are strong enough to be listed,” he said. “It will support portfolio companies with the implementation of IT systems, standardizing and scaling operations and bolt-on acquisitions.”

The third fund has focused on consumer-driven businesses such as retail, restaurants, entertainment, healthcare services and education. “We are investing in more tech-driven models by virtue of businesses becoming more omni-channel,” he added.

Most recently, VI Group invested in Hung Viet Cancer Hospital in Hanoi and preschool chain AVS International School in Ho Chi Minh City, Do revealed. The value of the investments, however, has not been disclosed.

The private equity fund manager has also received a special dividend from the partial divestment by Gemadept Corporation (GMD) of its logistics and shipping businesses. VI Fund II owns 87.7 million shares of GMD, equivalent to 30.4 per cent stake.

Founded in 2006, VI Group is one of Vietnam’s major private equity firms, having invested in manufacturing, logistics, hospitality, education, retail, affordable housing, technology, media and entertainment, and finance. It raised its first fund in 2008, and a second in 2012.

To date, the homegrown PE firm has completed 20 private equity investments, of which it has fully exited from seven investments. Currently, it has 20 limited partners (LPs), mostly come from family offices, development institutions, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies in US, Asia and in Europe.

VI Group has over $500 million assets under management. It typically targets to hold significant minority stake in portfolio companies for five to seven years. The firm often takes a majority stake where it has industry expertise. (via existing investments, operating partners or co-investors) and is able to add significant value. Its investment can take the form of pure equity, performance-linked equity or convertible debt.

VI Group was said to invest in the country’s largest bubble tea chain, Toco Toco. Earlier, the Vietnamese private equity firm invested in Kid Plaza, becoming a minority shareholder in the mother-and-baby segment focused retailer.

Do sees private equity investment in Vietnam as increasingly competitive with a lot of regional and global investors looking for deals, at  higher valuation.

 

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.