The billion-dollar acquisitions of Thai billionaires have brought Thailand to become a formidable force in M&A activities in Vietnam and Asia.
Big C Vietnam has fallen into the hands of billionaire Tos Chirathivat – the boss of Central Group (Thailand) from Casino Group (France) for 1.05 billion USD. In 2015, this group also spent about 100 million USD to acquire Nguyen Kim – the leading retailer in the electronics market. Recently, the Group also spent 10 million USD to acquire the business segments in Thailand and Vietnam of Zalora (belongs to Global Fashion Group of Rocket Internet Corporation).
Previously, billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi – owner of TCC Holdings (Thailand) spent 655 million Euros to buy 19 centers and relating real estates of Metro Cash & Cary Vietnam. Also, Berli Jucker (BJC), a subsidiary of TCC Holdings also acquired Family Mart Vietnam. Especially, along with the acquisition of Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam, billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi also through the Singapore Beverage Group – Fraser & Neave (F&N) became the 2nd largest shareholder in Vinamilk with 11.04% share. Currently, Thaibev which also belongs to this billionaire is racing to buy 40% share in Saigon beer (Sabeco), with a value of 1 billion USD.
In fact, the trend that Thai businesses acquired businesses outside their national borders is not new. In 2012, Siam Cement Group (SCG) of Thailand signed an agreement to buy 85% share in Prime Group JSC (Vietnam) at the price of 7.2 billion Baht (nearly 5,000 billion VND). This is also the biggest M&A deal in the field of building materials in Vietnam so far.
In the plastic industry, currently, SCG has invested in more than 20 Vietnam plastic enterprises. Particularly, the most significant investment is to buy 80% share in Tin Thanh Plastic Company, a top enterprise in the field of plastic packaging of Vietnam. SCG also holds large shares in 4 companies specialized in manufacturing plastic household – packaging in Vietnam, which are Vietnam – Thai Plastchem Joint Venture, TPC Vina Plastic and Chemical, Minh Thai and Chemtech Plastic Materials.
Currently, SCG is also the 2nd largest shareholder in Tien Phong Plastics and Binh Minh Plastics, just after State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC). Moreover, SCIC planned to divest from this two plastics companies. This will create opportunities for Nawaplastic Industries to increase its shares in Tien Phong Plastics and Binh Minh Plastics. SCG continues to seek opportunities to invest in Vietnam’s plastic industry.
Most recently, the Ton Poh Thailand Fund has spent 130 billion VND to buy 5.9 million shares of Hoang Huy Investment – Service Company, equivalent to 5.32% of the charter capital of the company. In addition to Hoang Huy, Ton Poh Thailand Fund also owns nearly 6% share of Cotec Construction Company.
An open economic space will create significant opportunities for investment flows. The formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which expected to take effect from 2018, is the impetus for investment flows into the country in this area. The race has just begun for the countries, investors and Thailand businesses seem to hold this game.
The billion-dollar acquisitions of ambitious billionaires brought Thailand to become a powerful force in M&A activity in Asia. According to experts, the deal with the presence of Thai companies in the M&A market in Asia has increased rapidly, just behind China, Korea and India.
In particular, the market of more than 600 million people of AEC is considered as a more stable market than most emerging markets in the world. The growth opportunities for businesses here will be very attractive, regardless of Thailand, Vietnam enterprises or from other economies.
To sum up, according to economic analysts, the increase of M&A activities will be the obvious result due to the free trade between the countries in goods, services and human resources.