South Korea's CJ Group promises $500 mln expansion in Vietnam

By Chi Nhan, Thanh Nien News

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 A CGV cinema in Vietnam. Photo: Song Nguyen 
 
CJ Group, which runs Vietnam's largest multiplex cinema chain, has promised to invest US$500 million in the country this year to turn it into its second biggest overseas market after China in the next five years.
The amount is larger than the total of $400 million the Seoul-based conglomerate has invested in Vietnam over the past 20 years.
While CJ has a presence in many countries, including Indonesia and the US, Vietnam has proved to be a highly promising market where its businesses grew 26.73 percent a year on average in 2011-15, Chang Bok Sang, CEO of CJ Group Vietnam, said at a press conference Thursday.
CJ plans to boost its activities in agriculture, entertainment and logistics either through direct investment or mergers and acquisitions, he said, adding that it is also seeking partners to enter retail.
This month the group, which has animal feed plants and food subsidiaries in Vietnam, bought a 4.18 percent stake in the country's top meat producer, Vissan, for over VND300 billion ($13.26 million) during the company's initial public offering. It is seeking to acquire another 14 percent in Vissan to become a strategic partner.
CJ also reportedly took over Ong Kim's, a popular brand of Kimchi in Vietnam, in January.
Besides the CGV multiplex cinema chain it took over from British Virgin Islands-based Envoy Media Partners Ltd for $73.6 million in 2011, in Vietnam CJ also has interests in food, film production, communications, and real estate.

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