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Shrimp firm turns down Thai bid

Update: December, 15/2012 - 09:57
Shirmp is being processed at a Minh Phu Seafood Co factory in the southern province of Ca Mau. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai
HA NOI (VNS)– Shrimp processor Minh Phu MPC) would not sell shares to Thailand's CP Foods for the proposed price of VND50,000 (US$2.3) per share, the company said yesterday.

"Shareholders opposed the plan because it would make us an easy target for acquisition," Minh Phu chairman and general director Le Van Quang said.

In the company's search for strategic partners, two other investors offered the prices of VND45,000 ($2.1) and VND59,000 ($2.8) per share.

But Quang said his company did not need money desperately, so they would wait until next year or even 2014 to "get better prices".

He also pledged to sell shares for at least VND50,000, and hoped the price would reach as high as VND90,000 ($4.2).

However, the MPC market price has not even reached VND40,000 ($1.9) this year. It closed yesterday at VND29,900 ($1.4), a decline of 22 percent compared to the highest level. The stock's liquidity is also low, averaging only a few thousand shares per session.

The firm leader added that the business situation would improve next year thanks to increasing shrimp prices, so the processor was not in a hurry to sell.

Minh Phu's revenue this year was around $370-380 million. The company aims to reduce inventory to 4,500 tonnes and outstanding debt to VND2.8 trillion ($133 million).

Meanwhile, as the share price plunged too low compared to the book value, shareholders urged the company to buy back shares to keep the price stable.

The decision was made yesterday that Minh Phu would use around VND40 billion ($1.9 million) from the investment development fund to buy 1 million treasury stocks.

In October, CP Foods reportedly spent $60 million to purchase 40 per cent of Minh Phu.

The Vietnamese exporter said only that it was in the negotiation process of selling 30 million shares to a foreign partner, and did not specify whether that partner was the Thai investor. — VNS

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