Vietnam: Mekong exits Intresco; Hoa Sen’s $3.8b plan, Bitexco buys hotel firm

A realty asset developed by Bitexco.

Mekong Capital’s Vietnam Azalea Fund is looking at exiting from its current portfolio with the recent divestment being in real estate company Intresco. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s steelmaker Hoa Sen looks to invest $3.8 billion in a steel mill project. Also, property developer Bitexco has hiked its stake in a hotel operator.

Mekong Capital completes exit from Intresco

Vietnam-dedicated private equity firm Mekong Capital has announced the full exit from real estate developer Intresco, where it invested in 2008.

Data from the Vietnam Securities Depository show that Ho Chi Minh City-based Future Architecture Design JSC purchased the 7.06 million shares that Mekong Capital’s Vietnam Azalea Fund divested. The fund was also the seller of 6.67 million Intresco shares to this designing firm a year ago.

Following the two transactions, Future Architecture Design currently holds 20 per cent stake in Intresco.

Post this transaction, Vietnam Azalea Fund has interest in only three investees: crop protection chemicals manufacturer Loc Troi Group, Phu Nhuan Jewelry and pharmaceutical firm Traphaco. The fund, which manages $64 million, term ends in 2017 and it is looking to divest from its portfolio.

In 2014, Chris Freund, founder and managing partner of Mekong Capital, was quoted as saying that Intresco was a less profitable investee. After the 2008 investment, Intresco suffered  losses of VND137.4 billion ($6.16 million) in 2011 and VND297.2 billion in 2013. The company failed to make up for the losses in subsequent years.

Also read: Vietnam’s Mekong Capital mulls partial exit from jewellery firm

Steel firm Hoa Sen plans $3.8b investment in abandoned project

Hoa Sen Group, one of Vietnam’s biggest steelmakers, is mulling a $3.8 billion investment in a long-abandoned steel mill complex in the central province of Ninh Thuan, according to a Thanh Nien News report.

The Hoa Sen Ca Na-Ninh Thuan Steel Mill Complex, as it is officially known, was originally developed by state-owned shipping giant Vinashin and Malaysia’s Lion Group with a projected cost of $9.8 billion.

The foreign investor backed out one year after the project was licensed in 2008 and local authorities revoked it in 2011.

According to Hoa Sen’s plan, which will be put forward at its shareholders’ meeting this September, the complex will cover more than 1,700 hectares to house a steel mill with an annual output of 6 million tonnes and a solar panel plant among other facilities.

Bitexco acquires major stake at Huong Giang Tourist

Ho Chi Minh City-based Bitexco Group has completed the acquisition of a 63 per cent stake in loss-making Huong Giang Tourist to increase its holding to 70.5 per cent, the VnExpress reported.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Huong Giang Tourist is a state-owned hospitality business based in the central city of Hue. Even as the company has recorded successive losses over the last couple of years, it is operating several hotels and resorts. The firm is currently linked to 16 subsidiaries and affiliates in the industry, according to its website.

In 2015, Huong Giang Tourist and Bitexco teamed up to launch a joint venture to develop a luxury resort in Hue.

Bitexco is the developer of dozens of realty projects across Vietnam, with a flagship product of the 68-storey Bitexco Financial Tower – the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City.

Also read: Vietnam: Korea’s AON Holdings takes over Hanoi Landmark Tower

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.

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.