Move comes amid expanding Southeast Asian food sector
HANOI — Marubeni Growth Capital Asia (MGCA), the Singapore-based investment arm of Japanese conglomerate Marubeni Corporation, has acquired a significant minority stake in Vietnamese food ingredients and packaged food producer AIG Asia Ingredients Corporation.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but MGCA says on its website that it typically writes checks ranging from $30 million to $200 million in Southeast Asian high-growth companies valued at between $50 million and $1 billion.
Established in 2001, AIG distributes food and functional ingredients in Vietnam and owns manufacturing facilities and an in-house laboratory for product development, Marubeni said in a statement.
Formerly known as Asia Chemicals Corporation, the Vietnamese company was previously backed by local private equity companies Mekong Capital and PENM Partners in 2011 and 2014, respectively. In 2018, secondary company NewQuest Capital Partners invested in AIG, according to the company’s website.
“The food sector in Southeast Asia has witnessed significant growth. Notably, Vietnam’s food market is one of the fastest growing markets with an annual growth rate of approximately 8% supported by the country’s emerging economy, which is projected to become the second-largest in Southeast Asia by 2036,” Marubeni said.
“Food and functional ingredients play a critical role in supporting the rapid growth of the food market and meeting new aspects of demand that are linked to changing consumer trends and lifestyles … which has led to a need for more diverse, globally sourced, and sophisticated base inputs, organic ingredients and nutritional additives,” it added.
AIG marks the second investment for MGCA, which was established in 2022. It had earlier formed a master franchise partnership with Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons to bring the latter’s products to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
MGCA is under Marubeni’s Next Generation Corporate Development division, which was established last year to capture the growth of consumer businesses in Southeast Asia and the U.S.
The investment arm will continue to focus on the food products and food and beverage sector in Southeast Asia “because of its particularly high growth potential,” the Japanese company said.
In 2023 alone, Marubeni invested in Southeast Asian businesses such as Conceive IVF Manila, an in vitro fertilization diagnostic center in the Philippines; Indonesian online health care startup Alodokter; Bangladesh’s BJIT Group which provides IT services for Japan, Europe, the U.S. and ASEAN markets; Thai cosmetics company Karmarts; and KarbonMRO Services, a Malaysia-based aircraft maintenance joint venture with D’viation Solutions.
Marubeni also invested in Vertex Venture Holdings’ Vertex Master Fund III.