Foreign investors keen on Vinalines’ equitization

Many foreign enterprises have expressed interest in becoming strategic investors in Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) following the Prime Minister’s approval of the firm’s equitization plan.

foreign investors keen on vinalines’ equitization hinh 0
A Vinalines representative said the firm has met with some investors from Japan, Thailand and the Republic of Korea, such as Hyundai Motor, SK Holdings and Siam Cement Group, over share acquisition. Hyundai Motor has officially registered to participate in Vinalines’ equitization.

Vinalines will sell 34.8% of its chartered capital to strategic investors through its initial public offerings (IPOs) and share auctions, but many investors want to hold at least 49%. As a result, the share volume Vinalines has offered is not attractive enough to investors.

Some other investors want to cooperate with Vinalines to exploit seaports instead of merely joining the IPO, such as Oman’s State General Reserve Fund.

In addition, Vinalines last year signed a memorandum of understanding with Rent A Port N.V., a seaport investment and management firm of Belgium’s Ackermans & van Haaren Group, which allowed Rent A Port N.V. to purchase a 10% stake in Vinalines. The Belgian investor has hired PwC Vietnam Co., Ltd, to appraise Vinalines’ value.

According to some investors, requirements for enterprises that want to become strategic investors in Vinalines are tough. Investors operating in the same sector must have a minimum chartered capital of VND1 trillion, while the level for those outside the shipping sector is VND2 trillion. These figures are double those of the previous plan.

On June 20, the Government passed Vinalines’ equitization plan, which involves the sale of part of the State capital and the issuance of additional shares to increase its chartered capital. After the equitization, Vinalines will have chartered capital of more than VND14 trillion, including VND11.9 trillion of State capital.

The State will hold 65% of the chartered capital, while 14.8% of the shares will be sold to strategic investors and 2% to Vinalines’ employees and trade union.

Vinalines has plans to offer over 1.4 billion shares at a starting price of VND10,000 each in its IPO in September.

Saigon Times

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