US private equity firm KKR has announced its full exit from Vietnamese portfolio investee Masan Group, in which it invested $359 million in two rounds.
KKR’s maiden investment of $159 million in Masan Consumer was made in 2011 with follow-on round of $200 million two years later, making it the largest private equity investment in Vietnam.
In a simultaneous announcement, Masan said, that it closed the first funding tranche worth $650 million, part of the $1.1-billion strategic partnership it struck with Thailand’s Singha Asia Holding Pte Ltd last month.
Commenting on its biggest PE bet in Vietnman, Ming Lu, co-head of private equity for KKR Asia, said in a release: “KKR is proud of the successful and win-win partnership with Masan Group. Masan Consumer has established itself as a leader in the Vietnamese fast-moving consumer goods industry.”
“Since KKR entered into partnership with Masan Consumer in 2011, the company has grown both organically and inorganically, capitalising on the structural consumption trends and rising middle class potential in Vietnam, according to KKR statement.
“KKR’s investment has also been an important validation of our business model and our growth potential,” said Seokhee Won, deputy CEO of Masan Group and CEO of Masan Consumer.
In July last year, a representative from Masan Group confirmed to Deal Street Asia that KKR had sold half of its holdings to make a 100 per cent return on its initial investment. Then in late December, KKR sold another tranche of 10 million shares of the food firm to own only 7.93 per cent.