Navis buys Vietnam seafood exporter

The Southeast Asia-focused firm has invested in a Vietnamese seafood processor and aims to help it expand into the US market.

Navis Capital Partners has made an investment in Vietnamese seafood processor Godaco, according to a company statement.

The deal was worth about $35 million, according to an industry source.

Godaco, established in 1998, is the largest clam exporter in Vietnam and a major exporter of Pangasius (a white meat fish similar to catfish), according to the statement. The investment will enable Godaco to accelerate its expansion plans and increase global export sales of Pangasius and clams. 

The new funds will also be used to expand processing and farming capacity as well as finance the company’s entry into the US market.

Navis co-founder Nicholas Bloy said Godoco is one of the lowest cost seafood producers in the world. 

“If the currency weakens, [Godoco’s] costs are even lower in US dollar terms. Vietnam is a low cost place to export from. What we’re not looking for are investments in areas that require strong growth in domestic consumer spending. That’s not in the cards right now.”

The valuation on Godoco was reasonable, around 6-7x EBITDA, he added.

Navis has $3 billion in assets under management and has completed almost 60 transactions since its establishment in 1998. This is the company’s third investment in Vietnam. Previously, the firm invested in luxury furniture manufacturer, Theodore Alexander, in 2008, and into branded pharmaceutical manufacturer, OPV, in September 2012. 

The firm intends to open an office in Vietnam in 2013.