Vietnam: 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.

Also read:

Vietnam 2016: Mekong, KKR, Vinacapital record PE exits

Mekong Capital invests in Vietnam-based pawn shop chain F88

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.