HCM CITY (VNS)— Viet Nam's largest mobile phone retailer yesterday announced it was selling more than 20 per cent stakes to two foreign investors, including an American entrepreneur.
The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) Investment Joint Stock Company chairman Nguyen Duc Tai did not, however, reveal how much CDH Electric Bee Ltd and Robert A Willett, former CEO of BestBuy International, were each buying or what they paid for the shares.
Willett will also act as strategic adviser to the company.
He told Viett Nam News that he chose to invest in Mobile World because it has a "good leadership team", the mobile sector is growing and a "great place to be in", and Viet Nam has been a great investment destination.
Asked how much he paid for his stake, he merely said "not enough" and did not divulge the figure. Tai said Willett wants to invest millions of dollars more.
Mobile World claims that in April it had been valued at US$100 million.
Tai said getting on board the new stakeholders would play an important role in helping Mobile World adopt new business strategies like focusing extensively on its online business and by year-end introducing a money-back policy and offering customers many free applications.
"At that time a phone bought from Mobile World will be totally different from one sold in other stores," he said.
By next year the company also plans to develop its network of dienmay.com electronics stores [Its mobile phone chain is called thegioididong.com].
Then, in the next two years, the company plans to widen its business by retailing many other products, but it refused to say what products.
"This year we expect revenues of VND9 trillion [$428 million] and profit after tax of VND200 billion ($9.5 million)," Tai said, adding the company also hopes to list on HoSE soon.
The Gioi Di Dong was set up nine years ago as an e-commerce company, a new concept in Viet Nam at that time.
With investment from Mekong Capital, the company grew strongly with average revenue growth of 60 per cent per year.
By 2012 it had a presence in every province and city, and it now has 218 stores. — VNS