Vietnam: SEAF Women Fund backs Organica; NMDC to close Masan mine due diligence

SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund, a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) growth fund by US-based Small Enterprise Assistance Funds, has invested in Vietnamese retailer of organic food Organica. Meanwhile, India’s NMDC Limited is said to complete its due diligence for Masan Resources’ tungsten mine acquisition next month. The plan to acquire a stake in the Nui Phao mine started in 2017.

SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund invests in Organica

SEAF Women’s Opportunity Fund (SWOF) has invested in Vietnamese organic food supplier Organica, according to an announcement.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but SWOF said, it typically put in up to $2 million per investment in women-led businesses in Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The Washington-based fund said, it will assist Organica with retail chain expansion, financial management and broadening business development opportunities. In addition, SEAF will provide long-term loan to Organica to support its growth plan.

Founded in 2011, Organica currently owns two vegetable and fruit farms along with five retail stores in the three biggest cities of Vietnam.

“The company is a strong fit for SWOF. Founder Pham Phuong Thao has scaled Organica from a small shop to a chain of food retail stores covering Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang,” said SEAF senior managing director Jennifer Buckley.

SWOF was launched in 2017 and is managed by Small Enterprise Assistance Funds. Prior to Organica, the fund had invested in Cyberagent Ventures-backed edtech startup Kyna and Phuong Chau, an obstetrics and gynecology hospital.

Meanwhile, the fund manager has invested in around 20 Vietnamese companies across various sectors. It launched the SEAF Blue Waters Growth Fund in 2007, a $25-million vehicle dedicated to Vietnamese SMEs. The fund has been fully invested.

NMDC to close due diligence for Nui Phao mine acquisition

India’s state-run miner NMDC has reportedly said it will complete the due diligence of acquiring a minority stake in Nui Phao Mine, operated by Masan Resources, by next month.

NMDC was said to be currently in talks with Masan Resources for the share acquisition of the tungsten mine located in northern Vietnam. After the due diligence is completed, the Indian company will decide how much interest it will purchase.

Masan Resources is backed by Vietnam-focused private equity firm PENM Partners. It is a subsidiary of Masan Group, a $4.1 billion listed major in Vietnam.

Masan counts global investors GIC and South Korea’s SK Group as significant shareholders. In October last year, global private equity firm KKR is said to have exited its remaining stake in Masan in a $209-million transaction. In total, KKR had invested around $600 million in the Vietnamese company and made several exit tranches.

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GIC said to have picked stake in Vietnam’s Masan; KKR exits in $209m deal