Franklin Templeton exits Vietnam-based Indo Trans Logistics

US-based investment firm Franklin Templeton has offloaded its entire stake in Vietnamese logistics company Indo Trans Logistics Corporation (ITL) to Japan’s Mitsubishi Logistics Corporation, according to a statement by Franklin Templeton’s exclusive advisor, BDA Partners.

In a separate announcement, Mitsubishi Logistics said it has acquired a 13.63% interest in ITL.

Franklin Templeton had earlier invested $15.8 million in the Vietnamese company in 2015.

In 2019, London Stock Exchange-listed Symphony International Holdings Limited bought a significant minority stake in ITL for approximately $42.6 million.

Established in 2000 and headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City, ITL is the largest private integrated, end-to-end logistics company in Vietnam, with businesses across aviation services, freight management, contract logistics and port logistics, according to BDA Partners.

ITL is also developing cold-chain logistics in the country.

Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Logistics already set up a joint venture with ITL in Vietnam in 2011. The joint venture, MLC ITL Logistics Company Limited, “has achieved remarkable economic growth in recent years”, Mitsubishi Logistics said.

Mitsubishi Logistics and ITL have been jointly developing warehousing, domestic transportation, distribution processing and air and sea import/export cargo handling in Vietnam.

“This transaction once again demonstrates investors’ confidence in Vietnam’s recovery and rapid growth post-COVID,” Huong Trinh, partner and head of Ho Chi Minh City at BDA Partners, commented on Franklin Templeton’s exit to Mitsubishi Logistics.

Sumitomo Corporation, another major Japanese conglomerate, also invested in the logistics sector in Vietnam through a 10% stake acquisition of port operation and logistics firm Gemadept in 2019.

Meanwhile, Franklin Templeton, whose Vietnamese portfolio mainly includes public equities, invested in ITL and restaurant chain Huy Vietnam as part of its private equity portfolio. However, the second investment was not successful because Huy Vietnam’s founder was alleged with fraud and sued by the company’s investors.

California-based Franklin Templeton had approximately $1.45 trillion in assets under management as of May 31 2022.

In 2020, DealStreetAsia reported that Vietnam-based private equity firm Mekong Capital was planning to dispose of its shares in cold-chain logistics company ABA Corporation, in which it had invested in 2016. The plan has not materialised. Mekong Capital  still holds a stake in another express company, Nhat Tin Logistics.

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