TPG, BankInvest invest $50m in Vietnamese conglomerate

TPG's second Vietnam deal is for a stake in one of the country's largest private companies, Masan Group, whose interests include food production and financial services.

US-based TPG and Denmark’s BankInvest will invest more than $50 million for an undisclosed size stake in Masan Group, a Vietnamese conglomerate with interests in food and financial services. The deal marks at least the second time TPG has invested in Vietnam, while BankInvest has previously backed a Mason Group division.

TPG, BankInvest and Masan Group did not reply to requests for comment at press time.

In addition to its Masan Food line, which produces noodles, fish sauce, soy sauce and chili sauce,  the company owns a minority stake in Techcombank. The bank primarily serves Vietnam’s retail and small- to medium-sized enterprises sector and has a strategic partnership with banking giant HSBC.

The capital from BankInvest and TPG, which is thought to have invested $35 million in the deal, will be used to bolster Masan Food and Techcombank as well as to build new businesses, according to a Masan Group statement. “We will continue to execute on our strategy to build dominant ‘local multinationals’ by partnering up with the leading financial and strategic players,” Madhur Maini, Masan Group’s chief executive, said in the statement.

BankInvest already owns an 8 percent stake in the company’s food division, having bought it for an undisclosed sum in November 2008. That investment, which gave the bank a board seat, was made out of BI Private Equity New Markets II Fund, a $150 million private equity fund set up in 2008 to make growth investments only in Vietnam.

Masan Group has also received investments from local private equity firms Mekong Capital and VinaCapital. In July, Mekong paid $9.4 million for a minority stake in Masan Food. VinaCapital first invested in the Masan Group in August 2006, increased its stake in December 2007, and in March 2009 sold its stake for more than $20 million, generating 2.5 times its initial investment.

For TPG, the deal is its first in Vietnam since partnering with Intel Capital in 2006 on a $36.5 million investment in software company FPT.