Vietnam’s Vingroup buys Maximark chain in bid to gain retail foothold

Vingroup, which has its own retail brand VinMart, has acquired a 100 percent stake in Maximark, the Hanoi-based firm announced on Sunday without revealing the price

Shoppers are seen at the Maximark Cong Hoa supermarket in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnamese conglomerate Vingroup has added a popular supermarket chain to its latest buying spree, bolstering its plan to increase presence in the retail sector.

Vingroup, which has its own retail brand VinMart, has acquired a 100 percent stake to become the new owner of Maximark, the Hanoi-based firm announced on Sunday without revealing the deal price.

The acquisition includes nine Maximark outlets and other properties which previously belonged to Ho Chi Minh City-based An Phong Investment JSC, according to Vingroup.

Maximark is a popular retailer in southern and south-central Vietnam, with four supermarkets in Ho Chi Minh City, two in Khanh Hoa and one each in Dong Nai, Ninh Thuan, and Phu Yen.

Khanh Hoa, Ninh Thuan and Phu Yen are all south-central provinces, while Dong Nai is a neighbor of Ho Chi Minh City.

All of these nine outlets will become members of either the VinMart or Vincom Retail chains operated by Vingroup after the acquisition is completed.

The Maximark deal came only six months after Vingroup signed another to acquire the Vinatexmart fashion store chain from state-run Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).

The deal allowed the company to own 39 Vinatexmart outlets in 19 cities and provinces across the country.

Both of the Vinatexmart and Maximark deals are part of a strategy to boost the company’s presence in the retail sector countrywide and particularly in the southern market, according Vingroup.

In October 2014, Vingroup officially entered the retail sector by acquiring the OceanMart chain from Ocean Group and renamed it VinMart.

As of October 2015, there are 125 VinMart outlets under the names of VinMart and VinMart+, whereas the Vincom Retail chain consists of 12 Vincom and Vincom Mega Mall facilities.

The giant property developer turned the first sod at Vincom Rach Gia in the southern province of Kien Giang earlier this month, and has plans to increase the number of outlets to 40 in 2016, and 100 by 2020.

Vingroup is Vietnam's largest listed property company by market capitalization.

Its cash receipts from the sale of residential units and recurring revenue from its investment property portfolio – comprising retail, hospitality, healthcare and education businesses – increased strongly in 2014 and the first half of this year, according to Fitch Ratings.

Vingroup's cash sales from property development rose 73 percent to US$649.7 million in 2014 and the pace of growth was sustained in the first six months of this year, the rating agency said in a report earlier this month.

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