PE-owned An Giang eyes 2017 IPO – exclusive

The Vietnamese pesticide and seed producer has committed to go public by 2017, according to an incumbent investor in the agribusiness.

Vietnamese pesticide and seed producer An Giang Plant Protection Joint Stock Company is committed to listing in or before 2017, Chris Freund, a partner at Mekong Capital, said. The Vietnamese private equity firm is a stakeholder in An Giang.

Currently An Giang shares are traded in the OTC market by brokers and the company has over 400 shareholders including major private equity investors such as Mekong, Standard Chartered Private Equity (SCPE) and local PE firm PENM Partners.

SCPE recently acquired a $63 million, or 23.6 percent, stake from the AIM-listed multi asset VinaCapital Opportunity Fund. VinaCapital’s internal rate of return over five years was 23.7 percent.

SCPE also bought another 11 percent stake from DWS Vietnam Fund, a Deutsche Asset Management fund. Freund says Mekong was heavily involved in that deal.

If Mekong Capital sold the stake it has held since 2008 now, the return would be 4.2 times at a 31 percent internal rate of return, according to Freund. But the firm decided to keep its stake.

“We are not selling any shares at this juncture as we see a lot of upside from the company’s conversion to providing a total solution to farmers (rather than just pesticides) and a vertically integrated rice business, which is scaling up well.”