Vietnam retaining potential for M&A transactions

November 16, 2023 | 20:00
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Ahead of the Global M&A Partners (GMAP) conference this week, co-chairmen Ivan Alver and Frédéric de Boer shared their views on the role of the Vietnamese market in GMAP’s development strategy with VIR’s Bich Ngoc.

Could you please introduce some basic features of GMAP and the main reason for the conference?

We are an international partnership of independent merger and acquisition (M&A) advisory firms and professionals, specialising in cross-border transactions.

Vietnam retaining potential for M&A transactions
Ivan Alver (left) and Frédéric de Boer

All of GMAP’s advisors have long-standing track records advising on diverse cross-border transactions in key sectors worldwide. Combining deep local knowledge in different geographies with comprehensive sector expertise, GMAP offers tailor-made advisory teams that guide clients throughout their transactions, thus ensuring a successful outcome.

We have a particularly strong track record in aerospace and defence, automotive, branded consumer products, business services, energy and mining, food and beverage, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, industrials, leisure, maritime and offshore, packaging, and technology.

Since 2010, our advisors have closed over 2,000 transactions with an aggregate deal value of over €60 billion ($64 billion).

The conference itself is a “GMAP internal” one, which will be aiming to learn more about the country, the market where global investors will be led to real investments in the near future via GMAP partners’ network. We are keen to learn about Vietnam so that all GMAP partners can understand where the opportunities are, and can go back to their countries to make their clients aware of these opportunities and promote Vietnam as an investment destination.

What role does the Vietnamese market play in GMAP’s development strategy for the Asia region?

It has been triggered by our long-standing partner, RECOF Corporation, in Japan. They presented Vietnam as an investment destination and strongly suggested that there still exists a gap between the existing investors in the country and the Western investors. Since then, the GMAP board seriously examined the opportunity and the analysis turned out to prove that RECOF’s suggestion makes sense.

Due to the gap of acknowledgment between the Asian and Western countries for Vietnam, there are still many potential investments that GMAP partners can bring and contribute. We are in the process of enrolling more partners in the region, but we believe that Vietnam will play a crucial part in the region’s M&A market.

What prospects does Global M&A Partners expect to gain from this conference?

In close cooperation with RECOF in Vietnam, we will be able to match global strategic investors with Vietnamese companies in various sectors, providing rare opportunities for them to enter the growing Vietnamese market through M&A. Since western companies are not so aware about Vietnam’s potential, GMAP partners will be in a unique position to offer something unique to their clients.

What are the prospects for M&A from foreign investment flows into the Vietnamese market going forward?

We are informed by RECOF that several sectors are promising among others in the country, including logistics (including cold storage and refrigerated transportation), food (including processing), fast-moving consumer goods, healthcare, fintech, non-banking financial, packaging, renewable energy, and so on. The attraction may cover an unlimited number of sectors.

This trend emerging from early 2010s is not a new one, but it is proven that many manufacturers are placing Vietnam factories as their Southeast Asia hubs replacing the status of China-based ones.

M&A activities from the Vietnamese market are still largely from Asia, so what are the opportunities for capital flows from other continents such as Europe and America in the near future?

In addition to the prospect of being a manufacturing hub in the region, Vietnam is promising as a market for consumption with a growing middle-class population. Despite competition from major regional players such as Japan, South Korea, and Singapore, investors in Europe and America will be required to make more investments to enter this market.

Despite the economic downturn, there is a significant number of transactions taking place. We think this will continue. Good companies will be attractive at good valuations. But it’s important to spend more time on preparations and implementation of the sales process than before.

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By Bich Ngoc

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