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Gemadept sells quarter share of beverage giant Vinh Hao

Update: February, 07/2013 - 00:00

A Vinh Hao fresh water automatic production line. — File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— Logistic company Gemadept (GMD) has sold a 24.9 per cent stake in beverage company Vinh Hao Mineral Water.

The buyer is believed to be Masan Consumer, the consumer goods arm of Masan Group (MSN).

Gemadept has gone from largest shareholder in Vinh Hao to owning only 4.1 per cent while Masan Consumer is shown to have bought 24.9 per cent.

The transaction was completed on January 31.

In Gemadept's consolidated report in the third quarter last year, its investment in Vinh Hao at book value was VND38.8 billion (US$1.8 million).

The value of the deal was not disclosed but sources said Masan Consumer bought Vinh Hao at about 240 per cent higher than the over-the-counter (OTC) price.

An official of Gemadept, who asked not to be named, told the financial information website that several foreign partners also offered to buy shares of Vinh Hao but failed to reach agreements.

Gemadept said it invested in Vinh Hao when the beverage company restructured, so the annual dividend was not high.

Gemadept did not have experience in the sector so selling shares to a consumer goods company would help improve Vinh Hao.

As Vinh Hao is a long-standing brand in the Vietnamese market, it is seen as an attractive target for multi-national corporations such as Coca Cola and Pepsi.

Sources suggested Masan Consumer and beverage firm Tan Hiep Phat had been trying to keep Vinh Hao within local control.

If Masan Consumer succeeds in increasing its stake and gaining a dominating share of Vinh Hao, it will mark a significant event among domestic companies, as multi-national corporations with abundant financial resource could pay higher prices than domestic rivals to buy local food and beverage firms, such as Tribeco and Interfood.

GMD share price has increased dramatically in recent days, around 37 per cent in 10 trading sessions.

However, it dropped 4.8 per cent yesterday to VND26,300 ($1.20). Meanwhile, on the OTC market, Masan Consumer has a book value per share of VND17,900 ($0.85) and Vinh Hao share is valued at VND45,500 ($2.16). — VNS

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