Vietnam’s Masan Group lifts stake in coffee chain Phuc Long Heritage


HANOI — Vietnamese retail giant Masan Group has increased its stake in tea and coffee chain Phuc Long Heritage from 51% to 85% for 3.6 trillion Vietnamese dollars ($154 million).

The Sherpa Co., a direct subsidiary of Masan Group, acquired around 10.8 million ordinary shares, equivalent to 34% equity interest, in Phuc Long Heritage. As a result, Masan’s equity interest in the beverage chain is now 85%, according to Masan’s financial statement for the first six months of this year.

The move comes after Masan lifted its stake in Phuc Long Heritage from 20% to 51% for a consideration of $110 million in February. The latest transaction values the chain at $450 million.

The Vietnamese conglomerate first acquired a 20% stake in the beverage chain for $15 million in 2021. As part of the deal, Masan Group-owned retailer VinCommerce, which runs the VinMart supermarket chain, entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Phuc Long for developing the Phuc Long Kiosk through a network of more than 2,200 VinMart+ stores nationwide.

In 2019, Masan set up a retail subsidiary, CrownX, by consolidating its interests in Masan Consumer Holdings and VinCommerce. In December last year, CrownX announced a $350 million investment from a consortium including U.S. investor TPG and a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, leaving Masan with an 81.4% stake in the retail unit.

In April this year, Reuters reported that Masan Group was considering an initial public offering for CrownX in 18 to 24 months, with New York, Hong Kong, Singapore or Vietnam seen as possible hosts for the IPO.

The same month, Sherpa invested in the $65 million Series C funding round of the Singapore- and Vietnam-based fintech company Trusting Social. Following the investment, Masan holds a 25% stake in the company.

The strategic collaboration between Trusting Social and Masan is aimed at developing an artificial intelligence-powered consumer tech platform, which will offer customized retail and financial products to 27 million families in Vietnam.

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