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GBS - Vietnam noodle and fish sauce firm Masan Consumer Corp has said KKR's increased investment in the firm will be "instrumental" in making its platform "more scalable".

US private equity firm KKR, this morning (9 January) announced it had doubled its investment in the Vietnamese group, adding US$200m to its previously invested $159m a year earlier, which bought it a 10% stake. The company, however, did not disclose what share it now holds in the company.

Masan said its partnership with KKR will allow it to further build the group as a "platform to capture Vietnam's structural consumption growth".

The deal marks the largest single private equity investment in the Southeast Asian country and KKR's only investment in Vietnam.

Masan CEO Madhur Maini said: "KKR has been important - not just for capital - but also strategic support in senior executive recruiment, M&A and operational best practices. As we grow and deepen our consumer business, KKR's Capstone team will be instrumental in making our platform more scaleable."

According to Masan, Vietnam's young population of 88m people and a fast growing middle-class makes the country's consumption sector is "nascent and under-penetrated".

Maini said: "Masan Consumer's strategy is to marry the best of Vietnam's consumption value with global partners. This means - firstly, building local brands and catering to local tastes; secondly, deploying global best practices; and thirdly, being leaders in every product category we serve."

Masan's Chin-Su, Nam Ngu, Tam Thai Tu and Omachi sauces are four of the top 50 F&B brands in Vietnam. The company holds the number one position in fish sauce, soya sauce and chili sauce in the country.

The company said its strategy is to focus on "Vietnam value".

"Our core belief as a group is the structural consumption growth and rising middle class potential of Vietnam," said Maini. "We believe KKR is the right partner to broaden and deepen our consumption platform to capture this opportunity."

KKR's regional head of Southeast Asia, Ming Lu, said the investment demonstrates three things from KKR's perspective.

"Firstly, KKR's conviction in Vietnam's structural consumption growth story; secondly, our belief in Masan Group as the ideal partner with whom we can realise those opportunities in Vietnam; and thirdly, the potential we see in Masan Consumer to be a leading consumer platform in Vietnam to meet the country's growing consumption demand."

KKR set up its first office in Asia in 2005 and now employs around 100 staff in the region. It opened its seventh Asian office in Singapore in October as its headquarters for Southeast Asia.


Source just-food.com

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