Saigon Co.op’s success has come as a surprise because numerous experts speculated that only foreign enterprises have the financial potential to compete the bidding.
The heated bidding competition includes two major Thai investors, BJC and Central Group, as well as Lotte Shopping from the Republic of Korea, Dairy Farm International Holdings from Singapore, and Aeon from Japan.
Along with Saigon Co.op, Masan Group has also registered to participate in the bid.
Big C’s assets in Vietnam were estimated at over US$1 billion, making it a desirable addition for the competing, sizeable retailers and investors. The current owner of Big C, Casino, is selling assets in Asia and Latin America to pay off its mounting debts.
As a reaction to decreasing consumption, it aims to focus more on its core business lines in its native French markets. Part of this strategy, Casino sold Big C Thailand to TCC Holding for US$3.4 billion in February.