Thailand’s Central expands Vietnam footprint

Thailand electrical goods and home entertainment operator PowerBuy has made a strategic investment in Vietnam.

PowerBuy’s parent Central Group, has bought a 49 per cent stake in Nguyen Kim, the highest profile electrical goods trader in Vietnam, which has 23 stores nationwide.

Nguyen Kim is known for its high profile locations, noisy store-front promotions and generally high prices amongst Vietnamese consumers. But its brand strength has given it solid market share – as high as 40 per cent – and it has a significant finance operation.

Powerbuy has 80 stores across Thailand, including flagships in Central Group Malls, including Bangkok’s CentralWorld, Asia’s largest shopping centre.

It has bought 49 per cent of NKT New Solution and Technology Development Investment JSC, Nguyen Kim Trading’s parent. The price of the deal has not been revealed, although it is unlikely to be in the vicinity of $100 million as one Vietnamese news source reported.

Philippe Broianigo, general director of Central Group Vietnam has been appointed CEO, according to VnExpress.

Central Group has recently opened the second of two department stores under the Robins brand, an abbreviation of its Thai Robinsons brand, one in Hanoi and one in Ho Chi Minh expat suburb, District 7. It also has a strong presence via its SuperSports retail business, Crocs footwear chain and New Balance athletic stores.


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