Thailand’s Central Group in Talks to Buy Vietnam’s Biggest Shopping Mall Operator ‘Vincom Retail’

Thailand’s biggest retailer Central Group is reportedly in talks with Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, Vingroup (HM: VIC) to purchase its retail unit, Vincom Retail.

Reuters reported on Wednesday by citing five sources that Vingroup is in discussions to sell a stake in its shopping mall arm in an attempt to bring in strategic investors, and Central Group is among other companies that are in negotiations to buy a stake.

Vincom Retail (HM: VRE) is Vietnam’s biggest shopping mall operator with a market value of $2.8 billion. Nearly 60% shareholding in the retail arm is controlled by Vingroup. Some hold the conglomerate group at the same level as Thailand’s Central.

The decision to sell Vincom Retail came as Vingroup is now heavily focusing to develop loss-making VinFast, its electric vehicle maker, which will expand its factory into the United States of America.

The sales could go down as Vietnam’s largest M&A transactions in recent years, based on the current market value of Vincom Retail.

Vincom Retail owns 83 shopping malls in Vietnam, an Asian fast growing economy that recorded 8% growth last year. The share price gained 11% from year to date, compared to its benchmark that increased 5%.

Reuters also reported earlier this month that Vingroup’s property arm Vinhomes was looking to sell its property assets worth approximately $1.5 billion.