Sales of Acecook Vietnam hold a large distance from the rest of the market, making the valuation of “Hao Hao Noodle” reach billions. And on the list of shareholders of this business, there is a Vietnamese individual who owns up to 25% of the shares.
Acecook Vietnam Joint Stock Company, the owner of the brand of Hao Hao noodles, was established in Ho Chi Minh City at the end of 1993, essentially an FDI enterprise. This company was originally a Vifon joint venture – a Vietnamese enterprise and Acecook – a Japanese enterprise, with the capital contributions of 40% and 60%. Vifon was then a wholly state-owned enterprise under the Ministry of Industry.
However, like the outcome of many other joint ventures contributing capital between foreign enterprises and Vietnamese enterprises, this predestined relationship is not long-lasting. Two years after the “Hao Hao Noodle” was launched, Vifon divested. Vifon Acecook has become a 100% foreign-owned enterprise. In 2004, the company changed its name to Acecook Vietnam Co., Ltd. – a move that is the end of the relationship with Vifon in this joint venture. By 2008, Acecook Vietnam had transformed into a joint stock company.
By the end of 2018, Vina Acecook’s chartered capital reached nearly VND 300 billion, of which, Acecook Japan owned 56.64%. The remaining two shareholders in this company are Marubeni Foods Investment Asia Cooperatie F U.A and Mr. Hoang Cao Tri (Deputy General Director of Acecook Vietnam) owns more than 25%.
The price of “Hao Hao Noodles” can reach billions of dollars
The market for instant noodles in recent years has been strongly segmented with the introduction of foreign products, especially Korean and Japanese noodles. Despite the presence of dozens of manufacturing enterprises, the market share is still focused mainly on the group of three leading manufacturers, namely Acecook Vietnam (Hao Hao Noodles, Phu Huong Vermicelli), Asia Food. (Red Bear Noodles) and Masan (Omachi, Chinsu).
However, compared to competitors, Acecook is still one of the most formidable names. Considering the scale of revenue, “Hao Hao Noodle” makes a big difference from the rest of the instant noodle market.
Acecook Vietnam’s revenue increased from 7,882 billion in 2015 to more than 9,800 billion in 2019. Their profit also increased at an average rate of about 20% per year to over 1,300 billion in 2018. With this scale, if compared with large companies in the same FCMG sector with P/E valuation of 15-17 times. Acecook’s value could be approximately USD 1 billion.
With this valuation, 25% of the shares of Mr. Hoang Cao Tri may reach hundreds of millions of dollars.
Who is Hoang Cao Tri?
Possessing enough shares to reach the top of the rich of Vietnam, Hoang Cao Tri’s name is probably popular for his role at Acecook Vietnam, despite his starting point.
Graduating from the Polytechnic University in 1987, Mr. Tri started his career at Vifon, where he was in charge of engineering. Then he became to the manager of an electromechanical workshop. When Vifon joined with Japanese Acecook, he became a member of the Board of Directors and Deputy General Director. That year, Hoang Cao Tri was only 35 years old.
An interview in 2008 (10 years after Tri became to the management position at Acecook) reads: “In 1997, a Japanese businessman bet the Acecook brand name on an electromechanical engineer. The Vietnamese people had had no idea of business management. This decision surprised many people and even the electrical engineer at that time. More than 10 years later, Mr. Tri became a successful businessman, bringing Vina Acecook to a leading brand in the instant food industry. “
In a late 2012 interview, Mr. Tri, then the Deputy General Director and Vice Chairman of the Board of Acecook Vietnam, said that his role was “the leader of Vina Acecook”. What this vice president is most proud of has contributed much to the development of Vietnamese cuisine. Moreover, his contribution has built the Vina Acecook brand into a pride of Vietnamese people.
With the influence and especially the important role at Acecook, Mr. Tri is favored by the Japanese boss to reserve a large amount of shares to “hold”. In the period of 2016-2018 alone, Acecook generated more than VND 3,400 billion of profits. Except for a dividend of about VND 450 billion for 25% of Mr. Tri’s stake, the parent company Acecook still holds more than VND 1,000 billion.