Thailand’s PTT unit, Central ink JV to operate Café Amazon in Vietnam

PTT Oil and Retail Business, a subsidiary of Thai energy major PTT, has established a joint venture with Central Restaurants Group to operate the Café Amazon brand in Vietnam, PTT said in a regulatory filing.

PTT Oil and Retail’s Singapore subsidiary PTTOR International Holdings will hold 60 per cent in the joint venture and invest no more than $2.1 million in the business.

Earlier in July, PTT Oil and Retail also signed an agreement with Kanbawza KBZ Group to expand the Café Amazon network to as many as 100 stores in Myanmar by 2023. Most recently, the group has reportedly said to increase the number of coffee shops in the Philippines by 20 more outlets in 2020 in addition to the current 15 stores.

In addition to Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines, Café Amazon is also present in Cambodia, Laos, Japan, Oman, Singapore, and China with a total of around 3,000 stores.

Last month, the retail arm of PTT said it was in the process of filing for an IPO. There was speculation that the IPO could see the firm raise about $2 billion.

PTT Oil and Retail did not reveal when it will start to open the first coffee shop in Vietnam. The Vietnamese market is currently quite competitive with the presence of both international and domestic coffee chains.

In 2018, American giant Starbucks only managed to come in the third place in terms of annual revenue, after two local brands Highlands and The Coffee House, according to research firm VIRAC.

PTT has been in Vietnam in the oil and gas business. In 2018, it was interested in the privatisation of Vietnamese state-owned PVOil but the latter selected South Korea’s SK Energy as its strategic partner.

Meanwhile, Central Group has implemented a spate of M&A deals in Vietnam to expand its business, including the acquisition of retailers Nguyen Kim, Big C and Lan Chi.

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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.