Goldman Sachs, Qatar Investment Authority bid for Hanoi’s tallest building

Keangnam Hanoi Landmark Tower, the highest building in Hanoi, Vietnam, valued at $1 billion, has been reportedly put on sale; interested international investors include, Goldman Sachs and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA).

The Korea Economic Daily cited sources, saying that both the Goldman Sachs and the QIA have made their respective offers for the acquisition of the Hanoi tower to the New York office of commercial real estate service company Colliers International, the lead manager in the sale of the 72-story building, constructed by Korean firm Keangnam Enterprises.

As part of the bid, Goldman Sachs will assume the project financing debt at some $900 million, and establish a special-purpose company to take over the building as the largest shareholder. Meanwhile, the gulf sovereign wealth fund will acquire the skyscraper at $800 million for long-term ownership.

The Landmark 72 has a recent history of trouble, related to the former head of Keangnam Enterprises, Sung Wan-jong, who committed suicide last month after a probe into secret dealings with top Korean politicians. The operating company for the Hanoi building, Keangnam Vina, has been allegedly involved in manipulating accounting books to conceal mounting debts during its construction, while the parent firm has been delisted from the local stock market.        .

Despite the high possibility of contigent liabilities, the US investment bank is said to be reviewing the idea of reselling the skyscraper in the form of non-performing loan. The creditors of Keangnam Enterprises include Shinhan Bank, the Export Import Bank of Korea, Woori Bank and Nonghyup Bank.

Meanwhile, information from Vietnam shows that Landmark 72 is valued at $770 million. The parent company invested 1 trillion wons (over $1 billion) in the building, in which the bank borrowings accounted for 530 billion wons.

Previously in January, the Parkson Keangnam trading centre inside the building was temporarily closed without notice, raising lots of concern among small retailers. The culprit was a dispute between the owner of the building and Parkson Hanoi Co Ltd.

Till two weeks ago, chairman of Keangnam Vina, Lee Hyo Jong, was insisting that the Korean scandal would not affect the company’s operation in Vietnam.

Related stories:

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VinaLand divests from Vietnam-based Vung Bau project

Cotec Land divests from units to restructure debts

FLC Group to launch $163m project in central Vietnam

Image: Flickr, Deven Hwang

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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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.