Indonesian food company PT Tiga Pilar Sejahtera Food Tbk (AISA) has revealed that it plans to invest $80 million towards acquiring stakes in two food processors in Vietnam and Malaysia this year.
Several industry executives tracking the development share the view that AISA is eyeing a controlling stake in Vietnamese company Hanoimilk, but this could not be independently verified by DEALTREETASIA.
The views of these industry executives come on the back of AISA finance director Sjambiri Lioe’s recent comments that the Indonesian investor wanted to purchase a 90 to 100 per cent stake in a Vietnamese company and a majority stake in a Malaysian counterpart.
While Lioe said that the negotiation with the Vietnamese partner would be completed shortly, he refused to reveal further details. However, one of the targeted acquisitions was a biscuit maker, he added.
Hanoimilk, the owner of local favourite Izzi brand of milk and yogurt, is a listed stock in Hanoi, Vietnam. Domestic investors who are interested in and have the knowledge of the company had previously speculated that the dairy product manufacturer would be taken over by a Japanese firm.
But the market view has now shifted to AISA, which is rumoured to have a budget of more than $40 million to acquire controlling stake in Hanoimilk.
The Hanoimilk stock closed Wednesday up 2.4 per cent to VND12,900 ($0.6).
The Indonesian acquirer, primarily engaged in milling and packaging rice, is also expanding in the dairy industry, according to an announcement it made in April last year, after establishing a IDR7.5 billion ($5.8 million) joint venture to take care of the milk beverage packaging production.
Indonesia, whose population of 300 million people, more than thrice that of Vietnam, has witnessed a 5 per cent growth in demand for dairy products annually, in recent years. The country also faces a shortage of large farms for its cows as majority of the dairy cattle are owned by individual farmers, as stated by gbgindonesia.com.
Some Vietnamese investors have calculated that if AISA were to sell Hanoimilk’s products in Indonesia, it would probably add VND400-500 billion ($18.8-23.5 million) to its annual profit.
AISA’s plans to establish itself as regional player in the food industry, and currently, its businesses includes palm oil and rice.
In the first nine months of 2014, its sales were IDR3.6 trillion ($283 million), jumping 24.1 per cent year-on-year. The profit also increased 14 per cent to IDR246.8 billion ($19.2 million).
Hanoimilk did not have great results last year, with a net profit of just VND160 million ($7,500), plummeting almost 100 per cent when compared to a year earlier.