PHI Group acquires 51% of Vietnamese hospitality firm Saigon Pho Palace

US-based buyout firm PHI Group has entered into an agreement to acquire a 51 per cent equity interest in Vietnamese hospitality company Saigon Pho Palace.

PHI Group will pay for the transaction in its preferred stock or a promissory note that may be convertible into shares of a subsidiary.

The amount of preferred stock or the value of the convertible note to be issued for the exchange will be based on the results of a valuation of Saigon Pho Palace’s business by an independent appraisal firm, PHI said in a statement.

The company added that it will take the special purpose subsidiary public in the US stock market in the future to create a platform for Saigon Pho Palace’s growth and expansion.

Saigon Pho Palace currently operates a chain of restaurants that cater to wedding banquets and convention events and plans to build 35 more such restaurants by 2025. It is estimated that this market segment in Vietnam generates approximately $8 billion in revenue a year.

In addition, the Ho Chi Minh City-headquartered firm also has plans to build 50 new “SGP Bulkoki” restaurants by 2025 and 200 “SGP X-N Coffee” shops by 2027.

“We strongly believe that with proper financial resources we would be able to capture 20-30 per cent of this $8 billion market segment in the next five to seven years and create very significant value for our shareholders,” said Quy Minh Le, chairman and general director of Saigon Pho Palace.

Prior to the investment agreement with Saigon Pho Palace, PHI Group had signed a memorandum of understanding with Hanoi MHD Invest to develop real estate projects in Vietnam. However, it announced last month that it was terminating that deal to partner with Saigon Pho Palace.

PHI and Saigon Pho Palace will work together on other projects of PHI in Vietnam, including the contemplated Asia Diamond Exchange in the free-trade section of the Chu Lai Open Economic Zone.

The intention to help Saigon Pho Palace list on the US market is not the first attempt by PHI Group. Cement producer Cavico Corporation, its past portfolio company, used to be listed on Nasdaq.

PHI Group has extensively invested in Vietnam across agriculture, resources, consumer goods and real estate. Recently, it has also acquired a majority stake in plastics firm Vinafilms.

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