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KKR makes second investment in Vietnamese foodmaker

by Laura Board  |  Published January 9, 2013 at 9:25 AM
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is to increase its exposure to the Vietnamese economy by more than doubling its investment in foodmaker Masan Consumer JSC.

The New York buyout firm will invest another $200 million in the company, following on from its $159 million purchase in April 2011 of a 10% stake from Masan Group, a publicly traded conglomerate. The new purchase comprises existing shares and new stock, said Masan Group, which didn't specify how much of the company KKR would own as a result.

KKR's initial investment in Masan Consumer was the largest ever private equity transaction in Vietnam and Wednesday's deal builds on that record. The latest investment is also the first for KKR in Southeast Asia since it in October announced the opening of a Singapore office. It comes after high inflation and banking sector woes prompted Vietnamese growth to slow after ten years of rapid expansion ended at around the turn of the decade.

"Doubling our investment in less than two years demonstrates our strong conviction in Vietnam's growth story, Masan Group as our partner of choice in Vietnam and Masan Consumer as a leading Vietnam consumption platform," said KKR's Southeast Asian head Ming Lu in a statement.

Masan Consumer is the Vietnamese market leader in sauces, instant noodles and instant coffee. In October, Ho Chi Minh City-based Masan Group, on behalf of Masan Consumer, invested $96 million buying a 40% stake in Vietnam French Cattle Feed JSC, or Proconco, from Prudential Assurance Pte Ltd. and PCA International Funds SPC.

Masan Consumer is led by CEO Truong Cong Thang, who said that the KKR partnership will help it enter "new fast moving consumer goods categories in the near future."

Masan Consumer had 7.06 trillion Vietnamese dong ($339.1 million) in revenue in 2011 and Ebitda of just under D2 trillion.

It wasn't immediately clear who advised KKR on its latest investment. In April 2011 it took advice from Credit Suisse Group, and a Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP team led by Kathryn King Sudol in Hong Kong and Vilaf-Hong Duc in Vietnam. In 2011, Goldman Sachs advised Masan Group.

Tags: Credit Suisse Group | Goldman Sachs & Co. | Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. | Masan Consumer | Masan Consumer JSC | Masan Group | Ming Lu | Proconco | Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP | Truong Cong Thang | Vietnam French Cattle Feed JSC

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