State-owned Vietnam Pharmaceutical Corporation (Vinapharm), one of the leading Vietnamese pharma firms, plans to sell 35 per cent stake this year and another 30 per cent in 2020.
After a protracted wait, the decks may be cleared for Vinapharm’s divestment plans, which are pending the government’s review and will be soon announced to shareholders and investors, per a company filing.
The divestment plan was first reported by Vietnam Investment Review, citing an anonymous source.
The report said that Ministry of Health (MoH), which currently owns 65 per cent stake in the firm, may resume the divestment in the upcoming days after a two-year delay.
Vinapharm, which has 22 member units under its wing, officially started to trade on the Unlisted Public Company Market (UPCoM) in 2017. Local player Viet Phuong Investment Group owns 17 per cent stake in Vinapharm.
This year, Vinapharm aims to reach VND 6.3 trillion in total revenue, up 3.6 per cent year-on-year while profit before tax is estimated at VND 218 billion, approximately equal to the profit achieved last year.
The listed firm’s State stake divestment plan is set amidst the country’s $5.2-billion pharma market, which is attracting foreign investors.
Most recently, Vietnam-focused private equity firm Mekong Capital has provided financing to pharmacy chain Pharmacity out of its Mekong Enterprise Fund III.
Established in 2011, Pharmacity has become Vietnam’s largest network with 186 stores in major cities across Vietnam. The company claims to cater to one million customers who have subscribed to its loyalty programme.
The largest electronics retailer MobileWorld, which was backed by Mekong Capital, has also branched into pharmacy retailing by acquiring Ho Chi Minh City-based chain Phuc An Khang.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Taisho Pharmaceutical Holdings has recently completed a transaction to lift its ownership in Vietnam-listed DHG Pharma JSC to over 50 per cent.