Central Group Could Be In Better Position for Business Growth

Concerns surrounding Central Group seem to ease after the announcement of Vingroup selling a retail unit to local investors, while Selfridges is expecting a new partner instead of the debt-piling Signa.


The expansion of its retail business in Vietnam by acquiring Vincom Retail from the conglomerate Vingroup and a top up to fill the blank left by the collapse of Signa for Selfridges in Europe could highlight Central Group’s position as global leader in retail business.

However, those acquisitions would require tons of capital funding for the group company and possibly its Thai-listed entities such as Central Retail Corp (SET: CRC) and Central Pattana (SET: CPN).

In the latest development that gave the market a breather, Vingroup just announced that it sold 41.5% shareholding in Vincom Retail to local investors, booking $1.6 billion from the sales.

CGS International Securities (Thailand) (CGSI) stated that the deal from Vingroup should remove the concerns in the market over whether the acquisition of Vincom Retail is bottomline-accretive or whether it will result in a capital call by CPN. The securities company believed that CPN will focus on its greenfield project in Vietnam, which is expected to announce more details in 2H24.


Meanwhile, the Telegraph reported that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Gucci-owner Kering, which is owned by French billionaire Francois Pinault, were interested in Selfridges from Signa.

Both parties are believed to be waiting to see the full extent of Signa’s collapse before declaring their interest in the business, which would be worth around £2 billion, according to the value that Central Group and Signa bought in 2021 at a total amount of £4 billion, while holding half of the stake each.

Whether it be Saudi Arabia or Gucci, Central Group is in a good position for this partnership to drive its retail business in Europe amid the absence of Signa.