VN Dealbook: Saint Gobain ups stake in Vinh Tuong, Siam Cement increases investment for Vietnam-based JV

Visual from Vinh Tuong's website

The Vietnamese market continues to attract attention from overseas investors. Saint Gobain, a French construction materials firm, said it plans to increase its holding in the Ho Chi Minh City-based ceiling and partition producer Vinh Tuong Industrial Corporation to a controlling stake of 57 per cent. Meanwhile, Thai Siam Cement Group has also decided to invest more in its Vietnam-based joint venture with Japan’s Rengo Co Ltd.

France’s Saint Gobain acquires construction solution business Vinh Tuong

Construction materials group, Saint Gobain, is reinforcing its presence in Vietnam by upping stake in ceiling materials and partition producer Vinh Tuong Industrial Corporation (VTI) from 14.8 to 57 per cent.

The French group has also inaugurated a plaster mill in the country, in addition to the investment in VTI.

Founded in 1991, the Vietnamese firm has established five factories across Vietnam, Singapore and Cambodia. It has been selected in both lists of the Vietnam’s 500 largest private companies (VNR500) and 500 fastest growing companies (FAST500) in recent years.

The company is the supplier of ceiling solutions and partition boards and has exported outside of Southeast Asia, including Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa, through its distribution network of 260 outlets across Asian.

“VTI is one of the main players in the construction products market in Vietnam with estimated sales of €100 million ($113.4 million) in 2015 and strong growth over the past few years. A leader in the manufacture of wall solutions and in the distribution of plasterboard in a fast-growing Vietnamese market, VTI’s business benefits from changes in building techniques to incorporate more high value-added products,” Saint Gobain said in a statement.

It further added that the transaction was “is fully in line with the group’s strategy of expansion in fast-growing markets.”

Saint-Gobain currently operates in 64 countries, with 2014 sales of €41 billion.

Siam Cement increases investment for Vietnam-based JV

Vina Kraft Paper Co Ltd (VKPC), a joint venture between Thailand’s Siam Kraft Industry Co Ltd (part of Siam Cement Group) and Japan’s Rengo Co Ltd, will spend an additional VND2.75 trillion ($126 million) to expand its packaging paper factory in southern Binh Duong province, Vietnam.

This investment will double the plant’s existing annual paper packaging production capacity from 243,500 tons to 487,000 tons. The production expansion is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2017.

The plant was commissioned with an initial investment of $171m in 2010 and is now the biggest packaging paper plant in Vietnam.

Vina Kraft Paper is one of the 21 subsidiaries of Siam Cement Group in Vietnam and is part of SCG Paper – the leading paper manufacturer in the ASEAN with the total production capacity of up to 2.7 million tons per year.

The factory was established in 2007 and went into production in 2009, with over 95 per cent of the products being consumed domestically and five per cent being exported.

“Our investment expansion plan is still on track and we continue to export our products to regional markets as we anticipate growth in the ASEAN region,” Kan Trakulhoon, president and CEO of the Thai group, said in a statement.

He added that the group will focus more on the Vietnam market to build a strong Siam Cement brand in the country.

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.