Vietnam Dealbook: Kido sells out snack unit; Singtel interested in MobiFone

Vietnam’s food firm Kido Group has sold the remaining stake of 20 per cent in its confectionery unit to Mondelez, which acquired the 80 per cent stake earlier. Meanwhile, Singapore Telecommunications Limited, commonly known as Singtel, is the latest overseas telco to show the intention to buy Vietnam’s major peer MobiFone.

Kido completes exit of snack business, pockets $89.7m

Consumer goods firm Kido Group has completed the sale of the remaining 20 per cent stake in its snack business to US-based confectionery company Mondelez in a VND2 trillion ($89.7 million) deal.

The Oreo maker acquired a major stake of 80 per cent in Kido in 2014, then branded as Kinh Do, for $370 million, with the option to buy out the Vietnamese manufacturer later.

Kido said it had secured VND1.55 trillion of the total proceeds. By closing the deal, Kido’s snack unit has become a 100 per cent foreign-owned company, rebranded as Mondelez Kinh Do, while Kido’s businesses no longer involve the confectionery segment.

Giving up on sweets treats, Kido is now targeting to be the leading vegetable oil producer by holding a controlling stake at the Vietnam Vegetable Oils Industry Corp (also known as Vocarimex), a state firm Kido initially acquired in 2014.

Vocarimex has interests in major cooking oil companies in Vietnam, including the largest two Tuong An and Wilmar’s Vietnam-based subsidiary Cai Lan. In addition, it is also producing frozen products such as ice cream and yogurt, as well as instant noodle – an area in which local Masan Group is the leader.

Kido also has a financial investment in VietDragon Securities, owning 35 per cent of the brokerage.

Also read: Mondelez acquires 80% in Kinh Do for $370m

Vietnam’s food major KIDO buys VietDragon Securities to mark its entry into financial services

Singtel joins international bids for MobiFone

Singtel has joined a consortium of international telcos keen on a stake in one of Vietnam’s biggest network operators, MobiFone, which is preparing for an IPO soon.

Singtel’s vice president Oliver Foo “expressed the desire to participate in the process of equitization (i.e privatization) of MobiFone,” said a statement by the Vietnam Ministry of Information and Communications.

“Mobifone is one of three major telecom operators in Vietnam. This is also the first telecommunication enterprise to be privatized, so the ministry supports the investment by foreign companies in MobiFone,” said the deputy minister Pham Hong Hai, who told Singtel to work directly with MobiFone on its IPO plan.

In addition to its interest in Vietnam, Singtel has recently entered agreements to acquire Thailand’s Intouch Holdings and India’s Bharti Telecom in a total deal value up to $1.8 billion.

The Temasek-invested telco is one of leading companies in Asia, offering a wide range of services from fixed line, mobile, data, internet, television to ICT and digital solutions.

Meanwhile, MobiFone has also forayed in the Vietnamese premium TV industry by taking over pay-TV operator Audio Visual Group.

Prior to Singtel, global telecoms firms including Australia’s Telstra, Norway’s Telenor, Sweden’s Comviq and Malaysia’s Axiata had also expressed their keenness on MobiFone stakes.

Also read: Vietnam: Telstra, Comviq show interest in Vietnam’s Mobifone