Japanese consortium buys Vietnamese telecoms firm

The largest in-building mobile telecoms firm in the country was the last asset in VinaCapital’s London-listed Vietnam Infrastructure fund.

A Japanese consortium has acquired Southern Star Telecommunication Equipment Joint Stock Company, the largest in-building mobile telecommunication infrastructure company in Vietnam, from a vehicle managed by Vietnam-focused VinaCapital. 

The consortium comprises Japanese telecom firm JTOWER and the Japan South East Asia Growth Fund, a vehicle managed by the Development Bank of Japan and Tokyo-based investment bank Risa Partners. The asset was sold by VinaCapital’s Vietnam Infrastructure fund, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and generated total cash proceeds of approximately $10.2 million, “a slight premium to the unaudited net asset value of $9.9 million”, as of 30 June.

Vietnam Infrastructure is fully exited following the sale. The fund will make a distribution to its investors and seek to delist itself from AIM. “The aggregate net proceeds received from the sales of the private equity assets exceeded the hurdle amount approved by the fund’s shareholders,” said Tony Hsun, the fund’s managing director, adding that the 10-year-old, closed-ended fund has completed its divestment strategy.

The Southern Star Telecommunication Equipment Joint Stock Company is the largest of its kind by coverage area, supported by its relationships with all three major mobile network operators and real estate developers in the country. 

As Vietnam’s economy has grown, the country’s mobile phone penetration has risen above 100 percent, JTOWER said. The demand for mobile telecommunication infrastructure, in particular the in-building solution market and lease of indoor telecom equipment, continues to grow. The market is expected to expand amid plans for major real estate development in the country.