Masan Group and SK plan gradual stake sale over two years

May 10, 2024 | 17:11
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Masan Group and SK Group have outlined a phased divestment strategy over the next 24 months, alleviating concerns about a sudden sell-off impacting share prices, according to Danny Le, CEO of Masan Group.
Masan Group and SK plan gradual stake sale over two years

During a meeting with institutional investors on May 9, Danny Le addressed questions regarding Masan’s preparation for SK Group’s divestment.

He assured that SK Group would not conduct a mass sale of Masan Group’s MSN shares.

“We will continue to collaborate with SK Group as partners, alongside their role as shareholders. SK also holds stakes in The CrownX and WinCommerce and is committed to long-term investment in Vietnam. Therefore, Masan Group and SK plan a phased divestment over 24 months, mitigating concerns of a sell-off impacting share prices,” Le said.

Le emphasised that SK Group’s interests as a shareholder in The CrownX were long-term.

He noted that approximately a month and a half ago, GIC sold MSN shares, demonstrating the liquidity of the Vietnamese stock market.

“Vietnam’s stock market has shown strong liquidity, which is promising for future transactions,” he added.

Le also expressed confidence that Vietnam’s stock market could soon be classified as an emerging market, suggesting that SK would likely wait for additional capital inflows before making further moves.

“Masan Group will work closely with SK to rebalance the portfolio or completely divest in a manner that protects our share price, ensuring all Masan shareholders benefit,” he said.

In September 2023, Korean media reported that SK Group might divest its $500 million investment in Masan.

Subsequently, a senior SK official said, “There may be some portfolio adjustments as Vietnam’s industry evolves, but we plan to strengthen our future cooperation further. Masan Group remains a key strategic partner, and we will continue to explore long-term collaboration opportunities.”

SK became a shareholder in Masan Group in 2018, investing approximately $443 million to acquire a 9.5 per cent stake in Masan Group.

In mid-November 2021, SK Group, through its subsidiary SK South East Asia Investment, purchased a 16.3 per cent stake in WinCommerce for $410 million as part of its strategic partnership with Masan Group.

By November, SK Group further invested $340 million to acquire a 4.9 per cent stake in The CrownX, resulting in Masan and SK holding 85 per cent and 4.9 per cent stakes, respectively, in The CrownX.

Currently, SK Investment Vina I holds 131.9 million MSN shares, equivalent to a 9.22 per cent stake in Masan Group.

SK Group, a multi-industry conglomerate with a market capitalisation exceeding $88 billion, is the second-largest conglomerate in South Korea after Samsung.

SK was also recognised in TIME’s list of the 100 most influential companies of 2023, with strengths in energy, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, logistics, and information and communication technology.

“We remain committed to enhancing our strategic partnership with Masan and will continue to explore new collaboration opportunities from a long-term perspective,” an SK senior executive remarked.

Meanwhile, in late April, Masan announced that it has successfully completed a $250-million equity raise from Bain Capital, a world-leading private investment firm with approximately $180 billion of assets under management.

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