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Huy Vietnam secures offshore funding

Private equity firms in Singapore and Hong Kong have invested US$15 million into Huy Vietnam Group, Vietnam’s largest operator of local Vietnamese food restaurants.

The Series C round of funding will be used to support the company’s network expansion in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and other cities in Vietnam – as it clearly works towards regional expansion.

Just five years old, Huy is one of Vietnam’s first international, professionally managed restaurant companies serving traditional Vietnamese food prepared from formulated family recipes. It already runs over 70 restaurants under the Mon Hue Vietnam, Com Express and Pho Ong Hung brands, serving affordable and authentic local Vietnamese cuisines.

Mon Hue restaurant 1-415

Huy Vietnam plans to continue opening additional Mon Hue, Com Express and Pho Ong Hung restaurants during the course of 2015. It also intends to expand its geographical footprint to include restaurants in Nha Trang, Hue and Dalat in the second half of 2015.

KY Huy, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Huy Vietnam said the Series C financing allows the company to leverage its multi-restaurant brand strategy in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and expand to second tier cities in Vietnam.

Dennis Nguyen, co-founder, vice chairman of Huy Vietnam and chairman of New Asia Partners, a Hong Kong-based private equity group and a cornerstone Huy shareholder, said the investors in this round include Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund, Welkin Capital and Prosperous Alliance.

“I especially look forward to working with Templeton on the Huy Vietnam board as it brings well-respected market analysis and corporate governance to the company,” said Nguyen.

Mark Mobius, chairman of Templeton Emerging Markets Group, said Huy has impressed investors by successfully growing its restaurant chains, satisfying local Vietnamese and foreigners alike with its cuisine and comfortable restaurant ambience.

Mon Hue restaurant 2-415

“We are excited about the company’s prospects under its existing brands and others which may come. Templeton is therefore happy to be able to play a part in Huy Vietnam’s growth.”

Johnny Kong, CEO of Welkin, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, provided a hint at the company’s broader long term ambitions beyond Vietnam’s shores.

“Welkin is proud to make Huy Vietnam its first China-plus investment. We are confident in the leadership of Mr Huy and his management team and we look forward to working together to continue developing the company as a leading restaurant chain in Vietnam and across the region.”

Vietnam is forecast to achieve 6.5 per cent GDP growth in 2015 and has averaged more than seven per cent annually over the past decade. That strong growth has fuelled the development of the restaurant business in Vietnam due to the local culture of eating out, and many international QSR concepts have entered in the market during the last three years, including, McDonald’s Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Popeye’s and Texas Chicken.

Huy’s brands focus on different regional Vietnamese cuisines: Mon Hue on central foods, Com Express on southern Vietnamese rice cuisine and Pho Ong Hung on northern Vietnamese noodles.

Huy says the chains are each continuing to expand their market share.

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