A Metro store in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Diep Duc Minh
Thai consumer goods group TCC Holding Co. Ltd has completed its acquisition of the Vietnamese operations of Metro for 655 million euros (US$704.1 million).
TCC's subsidiary TCC Land International Pte. Ltd. takes over Metro’s 19 stores and related real estate portfolio in Vietnam, the German company said in a press release Thursday.
Metro put up its Vietnamese subsidiary for sale in August 2014, 12 years after it entered the country.
Initially Thai consumer products group Berli Jucker Pcl (BJC) offered to buy it, but the plan was shot down by its shareholders. TCC, which holds a major stake in BJC, then took over the deal.
Metro Vietnam posted revenues of 507 million euros in the 2014-15 financial year, down from 516 million euros the previous year.
The company has been regularly accused of abusing transfer pricing rules to evade taxes, which it has never paid, claiming it has never made a profit regardless of the increase in its revenues over the years.
In April tax officials found multiple violations at the company to the tune of an estimated VND507 billion ($22.31 million).
But they ordered it to pay only VND62 billion in back taxes for its foreign experts. As for the rest, most of it illegitimate losses, the inspectors allowed Metro to make “adjustments in its books."