Private equity firm Mekong Capital has won the PEI Operational Excellence 2015 award in the Asia Pacific’s small cap category for its investment in Vietnamese restaurant operator Cong Vang (Golden Gate Group) in 2008 and its successful exit last year. Meanwhile, agro-business investment firm The Pan Group, formerly Pan Pacific Group, has announced to sell its sanitary service unit to Japan’s Nihon Housing Co Ltd.
Mekong Capital wins PEI award for investment in Cong Vang
Vietnam-based private equity fund Mekong Capital has won the PEI Operational Excellence 2015 prize, granted by the Private Equity International magazine, for its investment and divestment of restaurant operator Cong Vang (Golden Gate).
The fund is the winner in the Asia Pacific’s small cap fund category.
The calibre of the 2015 entries was extremely high, the PEI said, citing Suvir Varma, a partner in Bain & Company’s South East Asia practise and a judge in the Asia-Pacific region. “Last year there were some slam-dunk winners but this time, in most categories, there were really hard decisions to be made.”
The $2.6-million investment for around 10 per cent in Cong Vang was executed by the Mekong Enterprise Fund II in April 2008. In 2014, Mekong Capital announced to successfully divest from the owner of local famous chains such as hotpot restaurants Ashima, Kichi-Kichi and SumoBBQ, and beer club Vuvuzela. The fund reported a net return of 9.1 times of the investment.
Meanwhile, Cong Vang grew from only five restaurants to 67 during the period of Mekong Capital’s investment. The company said, it expected to bring the corporate value to $200 million by 2018, following the $35-million investment of Standard Chartered Bank’s private equity arm for an undisclosed major minority stake in September 2014. The total number of restaurants that Cong Vang is operating has reached 111 outlets nationwide.
The Pan Group to sell sanitary service unit to Japanese partner
The divestment is in line with its intent to focus on its core food business.
Pan Services, a cleaning service provider with 40 per cent market share, brought a VND13.1 billion ($584,800) profit for the group in the first half of this year. The company caters to office space and healthcare facilities.
The parent group is an established agro-business and food firm holding 42 to almost 100 per cent stake in VinaSeed, Southern Seed Company, Aquatex Ben Tre, confectionery firm Bibica, Long An Food Processing Export JSC and Pan Food.
The Pan Group has also announced plans to set up a retail subsidiary.