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February 8, 2015

Vietnam

Minh Phu Plans to Sell Half of Company to Finance Expansion

 

Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, which sells black tiger shrimp to Costco and Walmart in the United States, plans to sell a 50% stake in its business to foreign investors to help fund its overseas expansion, aiming to complete the sale this year after it gets approval to delist from the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange.

 

Minh Phu’s Chief Executive Officer Le Van Quang said, “We’re looking for foreign investors to help maximize our advantages and potential as our goal is to become a global shrimp company by 2020.”

 

Vietnamese companies are increasingly in need of foreign investors for capital and expertise to expand internationally, and the government is considering proposals to raise the foreign-ownership limits of listed companies.  Under current rules, foreign investors can hold a maximum 49 percent of a listed company.  A draft measure proposes that foreign investors be allowed to make “unlimited” investments in non-voting shares of public companies.

 

“If we stay on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, we can’t raise enough...capital,” said Quang, who plans to raise the company’s registered capital 20 percent to $39.5 million.

 

On January 29, 2015, Minh Phu’s stocked gained 0.9 percent to $5.17 a share in Ho Chi Minh City trading.  Its share price rose more than four-fold last year as the company bought back shares, giving it a market capitalization of $352 million.

 

A dozen foreign investors from the USA, Japan and Canada have expressed interest in purchasing a stake in the company, Quang said.

 

Japan’s Mitsui & Co., Ltd., already holds a 31 percent stake in Minh Phu Hau Giang Seafood Processing Joint-Stock Company, a Minh Phu subsidiary in the Mekong Delta.

 

Minh Phu will choose one or two new partners this year, Quang said.  France-based Artemis’s Red River Holding already owns a 9.47 percent stake and Vietnam Investment Fund holds 7.38 percent, said Quang.  In 2012, the company failed to secure a partnership deal with CP Group, Thailand’s largest shrimp exporter.

 

Quang said he and his family want to drop their stake in the company to no less than 35 percent from 79 percent currently.

 

The company’s exports to more than 60 countries jumped 41 percent to $730 million last year.  The United States is its largest market, accounting for more than a third of last year’s exports, followed by Japan and Europe.

 

Quang wants to find investors who can help the company expand its production and market overseas.  He is working with Edmond de Rothschild Suisse SA to find investors.

 

In the next five years, Quang said his company plans to build shrimp processing plants and distribution units in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.  The company, which runs a distribution unit in California, plans to build a 40,000-ton shrimp processing plant in Ca Mau Province this year and another with the same capacity in Hau Giang province in the next three years.

 

“My goal is to produce shrimp for everyone’s meal,” said Quang, “Shrimp isn’t food only for the rich any more.”

 

Information: Le Van Quang, Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, Industrial Zone, Ward 8, Camau City, Vietnam (phone 84-780-820-044, fax 078-0366-8795, email minhphu@minhphu.com, webpage http://www.minhphu.com/trang-chu).

 

Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service).  Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email jsackton@seafood.com).  Minh Phu Offering 50 Percent Stake in Company to Fund Global Shrimp Expansion.  Ken Coons (kencoons@seafood.com).  January 29, 2015.

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