Bangkok-based TCC Group plans to combine operations of hypermarket chain Big C
Thailand with those of wholesale operator Mega Market Vietnam, formerly Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam, in a bid to gain larger foothold in the South East Asia.
The information was revealed to the Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper by billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, chairman of TCC.
TCC completed the acquisition of German Metro Group’s wholesale operations in Vietnam in January this year for an enterprise value of 655 million euros ($711 million).
Metro Group started to operate its wholesale business in Vietnam in 2002 and was at last operating 19 wholesale stores across the country. Metro Cash & Carry Vietnam generated sales of $572 million in fiscal year 2014-15.
Meanwhile, TCC has increased its holding in Big C Thailand to 97.94% after beating Central Group to grab another 58.6% in the retail chain which owns up to 125 hypermarkets.
Upon the linkage between Big C Thailand and Metro Vietnam, TCC, which now runs extensive retail and wholesale networks, will help Vietnamese goods reach out to other regional countries, according to the newspaper.
After taking over Metro Vietnam, TCC has bolstered farming projects in the country, ranging from vegetables to aquaculture.
The Thai conglomerate last month shipped over 100 tons of Vietnam dragon fruit to sell the product at Big C outlets in Thailand. It is seeking for providers of other farm produce such as avocado, orange, star apple and sweet potato.
Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi also allayed concerns that Thai-made goods would flood Metro Vietnam outlets following the acquisition.
MM Mega VN Limited Company will prioritize buying locally-made goods, which will help ensure their quality and reduce costs, he said, adding that the Metro chain will import goods that are not available in Vietnam.