SK Group to acquire 16.26 per cent stake in VinCommerce

April 06, 2021 | 12:12
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Masan Group Corporation and SK Group today announced the signing of definitive agreements for SK’s acquisition of a 16.26 per cent stake in VinCommerce (VCM) for a total cash consideration of $410 million. The transaction values VCM at $2.5 billion.
sk group to acquire 1626 per cent stake in masan group
VinMart supermarket chain of Masan has become a favoured destination for shoppers

As the leading players in their industry, Masan and SK share the same view on the explosive growth trajectory of Vietnam’s modern trade grocery retail (MT) scene.

Along with this, Vietnam’s MT market is expected to increase its share from 8 to 50 per cent of the retail landscape, making Vietnam the fastest-growing MT market in the Asia-Pacific region over the next decade.

SK’s investment validates Masan’s turnaround execution capabilities through store network and assortment optimisation, continuous profitability improvement through disciplined commercial margin enhancement, and operating cost-saving rationalisation.

As a result, VCM achieved earnings before interest rate, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) break-even in the fourth quarter last year and delivered positive EBITDA in the first quarter this year. Management expects to achieve positive EBIT in the second half of 2021.

VCM has laid out a clear plan to strengthen its platform to deliver high-growth and sustainable profits in 2021.

“We have a strong belief in the potential of Vietnam’s on/off-line retail sector and expect VinCommerce to play a vital role in its modernisation. We are extremely proud of the work Masan Group has done to turnaround VinCommerce in such a short period of time and we believe VinCommerce will become the national champion of O2O (offline to online) retail in the near future,” said Woncheol Park, representative director of SK Southeast Asia Investment, SK Group’s subsidiary making the investment. “Our investment in VinCommerce is a part of SK’s broader strategy of investing in Vietnam’s fast-growing sectors. This is another landmark transaction for SK and reaffirmation of our commitment to Masan Group and Vietnam.”

In 2021, VCM has laid out a clear plan to strengthen its platform to deliver high-growth and sustainable profits: commercial margin improvement of 2.0 per cent via direct fresh sourcing and strategic supplier contracts, nationwide rollout of pilot store models by the second quarter this year, and enhanced supply chain model empowered by auto-replenishment engines shared at MSN’s recent annual shareholder meeting.

Commenting on the partnership, Truong Cong Thang, CEO of VinCommerce said, “We are excited that our partner, SK, has validated our turnaround initiatives. The hard work we have done over the last 12 months gives us the foundation to scale-up nation-wide to serve 30-50 million consumers their daily essential needs."

“As we continue to drive VCM’s promise of 'The Very Best of Fresh', I believe we will become consumers’ grocery partner of choice. I am very proud of the passion and dedication of VCM’s team. This is just the start of our journey to ensure Vietnamese consumers win every day, anytime, anywhere,” Thang noted.

Masan is planning to use the proceeds from this transaction – amounting to approximately $225 million – to strengthen its balance sheet and to fund future growth initiatives.

Credit Suisse (Singapore) Ltd. acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Masan Group in the transaction.

VinCommerce operates the largest nation-wide grocery Modern Trade retail platform in Vietnam with supermarket chain VinMart and minimart chain VinMart+. VinCommerce also owns VinEco – the largest vegetable and fruit brand in Vietnam that is available exclusively at VinMart and VinMart+ stores.

By Anh Duc

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