Thailand's Charoen Pokphand Group (CP) and its affiliated entities have categorically denied reports suggesting their intention to acquire a stake in one of Vietnam's retail chains, widely speculated to be Bach Hoa Xanh under the Mobile World Group.
A Thai conglomerate released an official statement on its website on October 22 stating that its members unanimously deny that they have engaged in any discussions or activities as alleged in the media. Headquartered in Bangkok, CP operates in the agriculture, food, retail, distribution, and telecoms industries, with investments spanning over 30 countries and employing over 300,000 individuals.
In a separate but related development, Reuters revealed in September that Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC is among the bidders looking to acquire a stake in Bach Hoa Xanh in a transaction that could increase the grocery chain's valuation to $1.5-1.7 billion. A deal is slated to be wrapped up in the first quarter of 2024 if the negotiations are successful, according to Reuters.
A spokesperson for Mobile World Group commented that they will discuss details after the signing of the deal. "We are currently in private negotiations and have signed a non-disclosure agreement with potential buyers," said the representative. If successful, this transaction could increase competition in the Vietnamese retail market, which has attracted interest from both domestic and international investors seeking to expand or establish a firm foothold here.
Mobile World Group recently decided to move forward with its plan to sell shares, having paused earlier this year due to unfavourable market conditions. They had originally planned to sell up to 20 per cent of their stake in Bach Hoa Xanh last year.
Established in 2015, Bach Hoa Xanh operates over 1,700 stores. The chain anticipates breaking even by the end of this year and expects profitability from 2024 onwards.
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