Vietnam meat firm enhanced by cash injection

By Oscar Rousseau contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Investment, Pork

US investment firm called the Masan Group a 'world-class partner'
US investment firm called the Masan Group a 'world-class partner'
Vietnam-based Masan Group Corporation’s meat subsidiary is set to see a cash injection of $250 million (m) after US investment firm KKR acquired a minority share in the business.

Masan Group Corporation claims to be one of Vietnam’s largest private sector companies. KKR’s investment is in meat-producing business Masan Nutri-Science.

The investment is split in two: the US hedge fund has bought $100m worth of shares in Masan Group from Danish-based equity company PENM Partners. The remaining $150m is a cash investment in Masan Nutri-Science, landing KKR a 7.5% stake in the business.

It is KKR’s second investment in Masan, and brings its total investment in the Vietnamese conglomerate to $609m.

‘World-class’

Masan Group is a diversified business with subsidiaries involved in meat, packaged food and drink, resources and financial services.

Masan Nutri-Science sister company is claimed to be Vietnam’s largest vertically integrated meat business as well as 1.8m tonnes of animal feed per year.

As a meat sector, Vietnam is incredibly fragmented and the market leader, Vissan, has less than 1% of the market, according to KKR. With no one close to a monopoly, Masan is rapidly increasing productivity across the animal protein sector and has been seeking foreign capital investment to accelerate its growth.

Ming Lu, KKR’s head of Asia private equity, said Masan had grown from a seasonings company into a $2bn-diversifed consumer group and called the firm a “world-class partner in Vietnam​”. KKR is excited for Masan to “execute their growth plans​”, Lu added.

‘Value’

Dr Nguyen Dang Quang, chairman of Masan Group, said he wanted to provide cheap quality meat and food to Vietnam’s 90m consumers.

In a country where daily essentials such as packaged food and beverage, fresh food, meat, and financial services take up half of the average person’s wallet share, being able to deliver value for money is meaningful to our people and society. With KKR’s investment in Masan, we will be in a stronger position to deliver on our commitment to Vietnamese consumers.​”

Several senior staff will change roles as Masan Nutri-Science moves to its next phase of growth. Danny Le, head of business development at Masan Group, will step down as CEO of Masan Nutri-Science and be responsible for strategy as vice-chairman.

Pham Trung Lam succeeds him as CEO of Masan Nutri-Science, with his number one objective to build the subsidiary into a leading branded meat business.

Comment from industry

Pham Phu Ngoc Trai, chairman of Masan Nutri-Science, said: “Our team at Masan Nutri-Science are not only professionals, but are entrepreneurs who want to transform the animal protein sector with innovation that increases productivity and brands that consumers trust and love. We have started in feed, and I look forward to partnering with KKR to complete our story with consumer meat products.​”

Hans Christian Jacobsen, managing partner of PENM, said: “Masan has been PENM’s most successful investment in Vietnam and we look forward to continue partnering with them through our other funds and serving on their board of directors.​”

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