Jardine Mattheson takes seat on Vinamilk management board

April 02, 2018 | 18:00
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Hong Kong-based Jardine Mattheson Group has secured one seat on the management board of Vinamilk, half a year after it bought a 10 per cent of the stakes at Vietnam’s leading dairy firm.
jardine mattheson takes seat on vinamilk management board
The AGM appointed two new members to the board

At the annual general meeting on March 31, Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk), elected its board for the 2017-2021 period. Two nominees, named Alain Xavier Cany and Nguyen Chi Thanh, were introduced to the eleven-member board.

Alain Xavier Cany, currently president of Jardine Mattheson Vietnam, also sits on the board of other companies, including Siam Cement City. Cany used to be president of HSBC Vietnam between 2003 and 2007.

Jardine Mattheson, via its Singapore-based subsidiary Jardine Cycle & Carriage, has spent $1.1 billion to snatch up Vinamilk’s shares last year. The first 3.3 per cent of the shares were bought during the November auction held by Vietnam’s State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC). Jardine later purchased more shares on the public market to raise its ownership to 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, board member Nguyen Chi Thanh is a new representative from SCIC, which now holds 36 per cent of the shares following the November auction. SCIC previously said it would divest the entire stake at Vinamilk, but no concrete plan for further sales has been announced since.

Vinamilk’s CEO Mai Kieu Lien said she welcomed Jardine Mattheson, a conglomerate that has been in business around Asia for two centuries, on the board.

“Jardine has been with Vinamilk for only a short time so far, but the group has put forward many helpful suggestions. For example, Jardine has introduced a number of partners for us to boost our exports in various markets,” said Lien during the meeting.

Beside SCIC and Jardine Mattheson, Vinamilk has another major shareholder named Fraser & Neave, a subsidiary of Thai Beverage. F&N has been hoarding Vinamilk’s shares on the market last year to boost its ownership from 10.95 to 18.74 per cent. The firm currently has two representatives on Vinamilk’s board.

Lien admitted that although Vinamilk is still the number-one dairy producer in Vietnam, it still struggles in overseas markets. This is why the new board wants Vinamilk to focus on its exports in 2018, besides launching new offers in Vietnam, such as organic dairy products.

We set the theme of 2018 as “Dare to Change,” as we need a new strategy to push Vinamilk forward.

“We set the theme of 2018 as “Dare to Change,” as we need a new strategy to push Vinamilk forward,” said Lien.

Specifically, Vinamilk plans to reach VND55 trillion ($2.4 million) of revenue this year, an 8.5 per cent rise from 2017. After-tax profit is expected to increase by 4.6 per cent to reach VND10.75 trillion ($471 million). Similar to previous years, the dairy firm plans to pay the 2018 dividend in cash, at the payout ratio of 50 per cent.

To increase its charter capital, Vinamilk will also issue preferential shares to existing shareholders at the ratio of 5:1.

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By Nam Phuong

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