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Unilever Vietnam converted to foreign-owned company   2009-06-25 - VietNamNet/SGT

Unilever Vietnam Joint Venture Co. has become 100% foreign-owned after Unilever’s acquisition of 33.33% of the shares in the joint venture from its local partner Vietnam National Chemical Corporation (Vinachem).

Unilever represented 66.66% of the shares, or US$75.3 million, in the company when it was established in 1995. “Unilever and Vinachem have reached an agreement and the restructuring will not impact staff, partners, suppliers, customers or distributors,” Unilever Vietnam chairman Marijn van Tiggelen told the Daily on Tuesday. Van Tiggelen did not reveal the value of the acquisition.

The foreign-invested company was re-named Unilever Vietnam International Co. Ltd., or Unilever Vietnam, after it was licensed as a foreign-invested company. The enterprise has yet to adjust its chartered capital.

After careful consideration, Unilever and Vinachem decided to move their long-term cooperation to a new stage, according to van Tiggelen. The strategic cooperation agreement was signed between Unilever and Vinachem in March.

The two parties agreed to restructure the joint venture to increase flexibility in the business activities of the two enterprises, expand outsourcing contracts of member enterprises and cooperate in raw material production to replace imported items. The company earned around US$1.75 billion from outsourcing contracts within five years, van Tiggelen added.

Unilever Vietnam imports around US$75 million worth of materials per year. Material supplies in the country will help Vinachem boost production and replace imports, said Vinachem general director Do Duy Phi.

Phi confirmed that Vinachem still played an important role in Unilever Vietnam via the outsourcing contracts of Vinachem’s subsidiaries. The new agreement also helps Vinachem expand financial sources.

“Vinachem will need US$2-2.5 billion to develop its investment strategy," Phi said.

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