Vietnam's Kinh Bac to buy SaigonTel adding technology, land

TN News

Email Print

Kinh Bac City Development Share Holding Corp., Vietnam's third-biggest listed property firm, plans to buy the almost 80 percent of Saigon Telecommunication & Technology Corp. it doesn't already own to add infrastructure technology and land.

Shareholders of both companies have agreed on the plan and Kinh Bac is seeking approval from the State Securities Commission, Dang Thanh Tam, chairman of Kinh Bac City, said in an interview. He expects the transaction to close as soon as the third quarter, he said.

"The takeover of SaigonTel will help us to better provide telecommunications infrastructure in our industrial zones, making us more attractive to investors, especially high-tech investors," Tam said by phone Tuesday from the central coastal city of Da Nang. "With the acquisition, we will also have chances to expand our industrial network, since SaigonTel has a huge land fund."

The property developer is trying to lure companies from China to its industrial parks where labor is inexpensive, Tam said in an interview in March. Kinh Bac has attracted companies including units of Japan's Canon Inc. and Sanyo Electric Co.

Kinh Bac aims to buy SaigonTel shares on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange, Tam said.

Source: Bloomberg

Masan buys mine in Vietnam, reviving tungsten project

Masan Group Corp., a Vietnamese company partly owned by private equity firm TPG Inc., bought a mine in northern Vietnam, reviving the development of one of the world's largest tungsten deposits.

The Ho Chi Minh City-based financial services and food company acquired the stake from Tiberon Minerals Ltd., according to a press release from Masan and Dragon Capital Group, an investment fund that owned Tiberon. Dragon's holding will be purchased for about US$135 million, said a spokesman for Masan who asked not to be named.

The Vietnamese government said in September it was considering revoking Tiberon's license for the mine because of delays in development. The acquisition is "a suitable solution" to issues with the project, Nguyen Duc Minh, head of the planning and investment department in Thai Nguyen province, where the Nuiphaovica project is located, said Tuesday.

"It's very good that they have found a Vietnamese company with good financial potential to develop this project, which has been delayed for too long," Minh said.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has approved the sale of Tiberon's 70 percent stake in the project, Minh said. The remainder of the mine is held by state-owned Thai Nguyen Import- Export Joint-Stock Co.

Global output

Production from the Nuiphaovica mine, which will supply about 5 percent of global tungsten output when fully operational, may begin as early as 2012, according to the press release. Tungsten is used in light bulb filaments and to strengthen steel to make machine tools. The mine also has substantial copper, fluorspar and bismuth deposits.

Masan Group listed on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange in November, and is currently the seventh-largest company traded on the bourse, with a market value of VND20.6 trillion ($1.1 billion). Fort Worth, Texas-based TPG, and BankInvest, a Danish investment fund, bought a $50 million stake in Masan last year.

"Masan has the scale and skills to add very substantial value to Nuiphaovica," Dominic Scriven, chief executive officer of Ho Chi Minh City-based Dragon Capital, said in the statement. The investment fund will also take a stake in Masan, the press release said.

Dragon Capital originally paid C$251 million ($248 million) to buy the majority holding in the mine, Tiberon Chief Executive Officer Mario Caron said in December 2006.

More Business News