The equitisation and reform of State-owned enterprises (SOE’s) in Vietnam commenced in the mid-1990s but without a clear roadmap or specific timetable.  It gained increased impetus about a decade later when some of the major SOEs were equitised. Privatisation in the banking and telecom sectors has been slow. The potential inherent in the equitisation of SOE’s in Vietnam remains largely unrealised.

Participation in equitisations, particularly as a foreign strategic investor, is never easy, and the legislative and regulatory playing field still has some distance to go before it is clear, well-defined, and easily understandable. The importance of quality legal advice, and assistance from professionals who have closely followed equitisations since the concept of equitisations first arose in Vietnam in the mid-1990s, cannot be underestimated.

A sampling of our highlight matters in this area includes:

  • Advising on the proposed acquisition by a foreign party interest in one of the telecommunications state-owned enterprises, which is up for potential equitisation.
  • Advising in relation to the selection of a strategic partner for a 100% state-owned telecoms company holding licenses for fixed, wireless services (WLL), long-distance and international telephony, data, internet and mobile telephony services.
  • Advising a listed Vietnamese company on a share sale and purchase transaction.
  • Acting as Vietnam legal advisor in relation to the proposed acquisition of a state-owned insurance company which was to be equitised. Specifically, the Transaction consisted of undertaking a legal due diligence review of the target company and overview of the Vietnamese regulatory framework to assist the client in making an informed assessment of its proposed investment.
  • Advising a multinational insurance company in relation to a potential acquisition of a listed Vietnamese insurance joint stock company (which was formerly a SOE).
  • Acting for a major Hong Kong-based private equity fund in relation to its successful bidding and subscription for a “strategic shareholder” stake in Vietnam’s largest State-owned maritime transportation and logistics enterprise.