Thailand Business Roundup

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Thailand Business Roundup

Fraser & Neave (F&N) recently submitted tenders to purchase another 5.4 percent stake in Vietnam’s largest business, Vinamilk. It already held 10.95 percent of the business.

Vinamilk announced in early December that F&NBev Manufacturing and F&N Dairy Investments, two wholly-owned subsidiaries of F&N, had submitted documents to the Vietnamese Securities Commission and the Ho Chi Minh

City Stock Exchange (where Vinamilk is listed as the biggest stock in terms of market capitalization) for each to acquire 2.7 percent of the dairy company.

Shares began selling at a starting price of 144,000 VND apiece on 12 December.

The method of transaction for F&N’s bids was by public auction, put-through transactions and order matching on the stock exchange between

December and 6 January 2017.

The intention of stepping up in buying Vinamilk has marked another move

in the deal-making spree of Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the magnate behind ThaiBev, who completed acquiring Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam for 655 million euros earlier this year, and reportedly the Melia Hanoi Hotel and retail distributor Phu Thai Group in 2013.

Online job matching platform WorkVenture raised US$420,000 in a seed funding round participated by several investors including Thai businessmen Songphon Chaovanayothin and Sommaphat Traisorat.

Through its own algorithm called ‘WorkScore’, WorkVenture is able to help both job seekers and hiring companies connect and match with each other in terms of availability, requirements, qualifications, salary, location, among others.

Founded in 2014, WorkVenture is a Thai social enterprise led by a team of Chulalongkorn University & Sasin graduates. It provides opportunities handpicked from the largest and most prospective local and multinational companies in Thailand.

Formerly known as JobNisit, the startup’s portal now reportedly has 500 signed up hiring companies, with an average of 400,000 monthly visitors.

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Japan’s biggest glass maker Asahi Glass has announced it was going to buy a controlling 59 percent stake in the Thai plastics company Vinythai from Belgium chemical firm Solvay SA.

The Japanese maker of autoglass and display panel components will pay the equivalent of US$291 million for the stake, with the purchase to be completed by the end of June next year.

Asahi Glass said the purchase of Vinythai was aimed at bolstering its chemicals business in Southeast Asia.

Vinythai makes construction materials and coatings used by car manufacturers and consumer electronics makers.

For Solvay, the deal represents a further withdrawal from PVC production after the sale of its European operations and the impending divestment of its Brazilian activities as it seeks to concentrate on specialty chemicals and polymers.

Solvay said the sale, based on an enterprise value of 16.5 billion Thai

baht, represented a multiple of eight times core mid-cycle earnings (EBITDA). Solvay said the proceeds would be used to reduce its net debt.