Japanese general trading firm Itochu Corporation has become the second-largest shareholder of Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex) after picking up an additional 10 per cent stake for 5 billion yen ($46.9 million), the Nikkei Asian Review reported.
With this, Itochu’s holding in Vinatex will increase to nearly 15 per cent.
The Japanese trading firm earlier owned nearly 5 per cent of Vinatex after the textile group conducted its IPO in 2014. The Vietnamese government owns 53 per cent while real estate giant Vingroup owns 10 per cent in Vinatex.
Recently, VNTEX (formerly VID Group), which owned 14 per cent stake in Vinatex, sold 35 million shares, reducing its ownership to 7 per cent in the textile group.
Established in 1995, Vinatex is the largest textile group in Vietnam. It has 83 subsidiaries and affiliates, with approximately 120,000 employees, handling both upstream and downstream operations.
Since its 2015 investment, Itochu has collaborated with Vinatex on suits, shirts and functional undergarments for cold weather. The trading firm plans to boost production of high-performance apparel in Vietnam and export the output to Japan, Europe and the US.
It aims to increase outsourced production and raise exports to 100 billion yen ($944 million) by 2021, the Japanese portal said.
Vinatex’s net revenue in 2017 was estimated at VND17.5 trillion ($766 million), an increase of 13.2 per cent over the last year while net profit stood at VND634 billion ($27 million), up 9.5 per cent year-on-year.