At least two Thai retailers have shown interest in buying Casino Group's Vietnam asset. (Photo: Internet)
Central Group, Thailand’s largest retail conglomerate, may bid for French supermarket operator Casino Group’s Thai and Vietnam units, as part of its strategy to increase foothold in fast-growing Southeast Asian market, Reuters cited an executive as saying.
“We are interested in both (Casino-controlled) Big C in Thailand and Vietnam,” Prin Chirathivat, deputy chief executive officer, said. “If the prices are not too expensive, we will be keen to bid,” Prin added.
Casino owns a 58.6% stake of the Thai asset, which has a market value of $5.5 billion, and is the country’s second-biggest hypermarket business. Central owns 25% of Big C through its founding Chirathivat family.
The Vietnam asset, which has 32 supermarkets and 10 convenience stores in the country, is worth at least $750 million, according to people familiar with the matter.
The expressions of interest came as Casino planned to sell its Vietnam unit in the first half of this year as part of a EUR2-billion deleveraging plan.
Berli Jucker Pcl, the flagship company in the consumer business of TCC Group, controlled by Thai tycoon Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, has been another potential bidder for the Big C Vietnam asset.