Asia Business Builders


The unique skill-set of the team has been developed by the provision by ABB Merchant Banking of patient M&A advice across the entire transaction cycle in Vietnam. Whilst M&A is largely transaction driven in many markets, the nature of the Vietnamese market requires a much longer term involvement with promoters. We have acted as pioneers in this process in Vietnam, working closely with owners of the first generation of privately owned companies set up after the market opened in the early nineties. The team has been embedded with promoters from an early stage (often years before the actual transaction happens) to help formalize the businesses and to establish simple financial metrics and operating procedures to be able to bring in investors. True to our long-term partnership model, we have stayed involved post-completion long after the closing, as trusted sparring partners or in a supervisory capacity.

ABB Merchant Banking is a member of AICA – an integrated global network of middle-market M&A advisory firms founded in 2009.

Significant ‘sweat equity’ has a result been invested by the team to close M&A deals since 2013.

Our expertise can be described as covering following areas:

Strategy and business development

We understand and view local Vietnamese entrepreneurs as our partners and work to understand their ambitions. As outsiders, we are however able to take a longer term strategic view of the businesses and to provide strategic advice. We bring our partners with strategic insight and inspiration which helps them to achieve tangible results and improve their standing in the competitive capital markets.


Emerging companies in Vietnam often have corporate structures which have developed through a process of coincidences and short term solutions. We have worked intimately with companies in Vietnam to streamline their organizations to be better suited to access outside capital. Our value creation has included:

  • Subsidiary re-organization and product refocusing
  • Alignment of management accounts with tax accounts
  • Holding company creation and creation of special purpose vehicles for capital raising

Achieving successful exits

We have an unparalleled track record in enabling exits from small & medium sized Vietnamese businesses. We are true experts in working with local companies to professionalize the selling process and to seek the best possible exit terms. Historically as advisors and currently as investors, our key strengths include:

  • Increasing the value of the business
    • We are adept at developing and managing discussions with multiple buyers to create momentum and competition which increases the exit value.
  • Providing access to international investors
    • We speak the language of other international investors and we are able to discreetly solicit and discuss with investors to understand exactly where the industry trends are moving and when is the best timing for an exit.
  • Helping entrepreneurs take charge of the sales process
    • One of the classic mistakes made by companies is to simply react to events by searching for solutions only in its immediate sphere of influence or by responding to inquiries by buyers. There is a better way to go! With us as partners, the company promoter and management runs the show and presents the company in the most fair and favorable light to potential outside investors.
  • Improving deal terms
    • We are specialists and have worked on many transactions in Vietnam before. As a result, we will work together with the financial and legal advisers to decipher exactly what issues to look for and pitfalls to avoid to ensure a successful outcome. We have helped our local partners to define requirements at the outset and to negotiate and structure the agreements for the most favorable outcomes.