Vietnam: Mekong Capital invests $7.6m in Ben Thanh Jewelry

Mekong Capital invests $7.6m in Ben Thanh Jewelry
Visual from Ben Thanh Jewelry's website.

Mekong Capital has invested $7.6 million in Ben Thanh Jewelry JSC, marking its second investment in a jewellery firm in the country after Phu Nhuan Jewelry.

The investment was made by the Mekong Enterprise Fund (MEF) III, which has closed three other deals in restaurant operator Wrap & Roll, ABA Logistics and pawn shop F88, since its launch.

The new fund infusion helps Ben Thanh Jewelry build on its existing retail brand to launch a new fine jewellery retail chain in Vietnam called PRECITA, Mekong Capital said in a statement.

Founded in 1987 as a state-owned company, Ben Thanh Jewelry is a unit under the country’s major diversified enterprise Ben Thanh Group. It was privatised 14 years ago.

“After its equitisation in 2003, it has achieved great progress and now choosing MEF III as a strategic investor because of the added value that the fund and its management company, Mekong Capital, will bring to our company. Looking at some of the successful investments Mekong Capital has had in the past, we are very positive that this relationship will bring a new beginning for Ben Thanh Jewelry and take it to the new horizons of success and growth,” said Shipra Jain, CEO of the Ben Thanh Jewelry.

As one of the oldest companies in gold and gem stone retail in Vietnam, Ben Thanh Jewelry focuses on the southern market with seven outlets in Ho Chi Minh City, according to its website.

Chris Freund, founder and partner of Mekong Capital, joins the jeweller as chairman, while Truong Thi Dieu Le, another partner at the PE firm, and Joe Lobbato, who used to lead Thai retailer Central Group and is an advisor for Mekong Capital, become board members.

Mekong Capital had invested in Phu Nhuan Jewelry, also a former state company, in 2007 and completed the exit last year.

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