A view of a Big C outlet in Vietnam. (Photo: www.wikiwand.com)
Japan’s Aeon Co. is about to reach an agreement to acquire French retailer Casino Guichard-Perrachon SA’s Big C chain in Vietnam, Bloomberg cited sources with knowledge of the matter as saying.
Aeon has emerged as the leading bidder after submitting an offer that values the business at more than $800 million, according to the sources. While an agreement could be announced as soon as this week, the transaction hasn’t been finalized, and the deal could still fall apart.
Aeon is among the suitors including South Korea’s Lotte Group, Thailand’s Central Group and TCC Holding Co. which have submitted bids for the retail chain.
Billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi’s TCC Holding Co. and Central Group, controlled by Thailand’s Chirathivat family, earlier submitted first-round offers by the March 10 deadline.
The Wall Street Journal quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that “several” of the bids valued Big C Vietnam at more than EUR1 billion ($1.11 billion).
A deal would follow Casino’s agreement last month to sell Thai supermarket chain Big C Supercenter Pcl to TCC Holding for EUR3.1 billion ($3.4 billion). The sales are part of Casino’s plan to unload assets in Asia and Latin America to reduce debt, while focusing on its largest market, France.
Aeon last year opened a shopping mall in Long Bien district in the capital city of Hanoi, adding to two other supermarkets in the south. It also has majority stakes in two Vietnamese supermarket chains namely Fivimart and Citimart.
TCC in January completed the purchase of Metro AG’s Cash & Carry wholesale business in Vietnam for EUR655 million ($727 million).