Mystery foreign investor buys $396 million stake in dairy giant Vinamilk

Vietnamese dairy giant Vinamilk sold a 3.33 percent to an unnamed foreign investor for VND8.99 trillion ($396 million) on Friday.

The investor bought the 48.3 million shares on offer for VND186,000 ($8.20) apiece, 24 percent higher than the asking price.

The share sale, which attracted 19 investors including six foreign firms, reduced the state ownership in Vinamilk, Vietnam’s biggest listed firm, to 36 percent, still enough to retain veto rights.

Vietnam’s State Capital Investment Corporation had forecast the sale would fetch VND6.5 trillion to VND7 trillion ($286.3 million to $308.4 million).

In December, the state investor put on offer a 9 percent stake in Vinamilk, but was only able to offload 5.4 percent to two investors – both units of existing shareholder Fraser and Neave Ltd.

Investors looking to gain a degree of control over Vinamilk were deterred by the size of the stake on offer. The government had initially planned to sell its entire 44.7 percent stake.

The government is trying to divest from hundreds of state-owned enterprises, including brewers Hanoi Beer Alcohol and Beverage JSC (Habeco) and Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corp (Sabeco) in which it owns a combined $7.8 billion worth of shares by market value.

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