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Local consumer electronics chain gets more foreign fundingUnlisted The Gioi Di Dong (Mobile World) Joint Stock Co has announced to successfully sell a combined 20.41 percent stake to two foreign investors.

Accordingly, Robert Willett, former CEO of Bestbuy International, and CDH Electric Bee Limited have stroke the deal to this effect with The Gioi Di Dong, but the value of the deal has yet been disclosed.

In particular, Robert Willett will participate in the company’s board of directors to work as a corporate strategy consultant, especially in brand positioning, for the company so that it will develop the Thegioididong.com and Dienmay.com networks in a more professional way.

With the new investment, the respective holding ratios of Mekong Capital and the two new investors will be 25.84 percent and 20.41 percent stake, while the remaining 51.26 percent stake is owned by the five founding shareholders of the company.

According to Nguyen Duc Tai, chairman of the company board of directors, the company is expected to list on Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange in 2014.

The company is expected to list on Hong Kong or Singapore bourse if its capitalization reach VND10 trillion ($500 million) in the future, he added.

Previously, the State Securities Commission released a report stating that CDH Bee Electric Limited on March 13 succeeded in purchasing more than 2 million shares of Mobile World Co, equivalent to a holding percentage of 19.88 percent, and became a big shareholder of the company.

CDH Bee Electric Limited is an organization established in the British Virgin Islands.

Prior to the date CDH Bee Electric completed the deal, Mobile World announced that the Belgian nationality, Mr Thomas Lanyi, was the authorized representative of CDH Bee Electric at the company.

Earlier, Mekong Enterprise Fund 2 under Mekong Capital announced to have sold 6.7 percent stake it owned in the company to reduce its ownership percentage from 32.5 percent to 25.8 percent. It was reported that the fund raked in a profit 11 times bigger than its initial investment at the firm.

Aiming high

With a network of over 220 stores nationwide, upcoming challenges of Mobile World is how to increase profitability and raise operational efficiency, said Tai.

According to Mobile World’s data, in 2011, though it ranked second nationwide in terms of revenue and post-tax profit with VND5.31 trillion and VND165, respectively, the firm’s return on revenue (ROR) was at 3.1 percent, much lower than the 5 percent, 3.9 percent and 3.6 percent ROR rates of the HCMC-based Nguyen Kim chain, and the Hanoi-based Nhat Cuong and Tran Anh chains.

Given that fact, the role of Robert Willett as a board member of Mobile World will be how to raise the ROR rate.

Before becoming CEO in 2006, Robert served as chief information technology (CIO) of Best Buy, and a special consultant for the group and many other retailers in the optimizing  operational efficiency, supply chain and profitability.

It is known that Mobile World eyed VND9 trillion in revenue and VND200 billion in net profit at the beginning of 2013.

(Tuoi Tre)

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