Last update 4/23/2012 2:28:00 PM (GMT+7)

Foreign “big sharks” eyeing Vietnamese famous brands (part 1)

VietNamNet Bridge - It takes tens or hundreds of years to build up a brand, but it just takes a few days to lose it. A lot of Vietnamese famous brands have reportedly fallen into the hands of foreigners recently.

Why are Vietnamese brands sold to foreigners?

Just some days before the Vietnamese Brand Day April 20, the domestic financial market was stirred up with the news that Pho 24, a Vietnamese well- known brand may fall into the hands of foreigners.

On April 18, people heard that Highlands Coffee bought 100 percent of stakes of Pho 24. Meanwhile, Highlands Coffee itself sells 50 percent of stakes to Jollibee. The value of the affair and other details have not been made public. Meanwhile, the owner of Pho 24 Ly Quy Trung has been keeping silent about the merger and acquisition (M&A) deal.

However, opinions from well informed circle said that the value of the affair was 20 million dollars, and that this is a step in the plan to take over both Highlands and Pho 24 by Jollibee, a retail group from the Philippines.

Pho 24 was a very famous brand in its first stage of operation. Though the brand appeared on the market just 9 years ago, in 2003, it once developed very rapidly. Pho 24 became well-known just after a short time with its high quality, good products and special characteristics.

Nevertheless, Pho 24 had been going downhill in the last two years, while the same quality of products cannot be ensure for the whole chain. Nowadays, Pho 24 is no more the top choice of consumers.

If it is true that the value of the affair is 20 million dollars, analysts say, this was really a good deal for Pho 24’s owner, because the brand has become less famous recently in comparison with the first period of operation.

However, the analysts believe that the buyer might have thought carefully before making the deal. It seems that Jollibee buys Pho 24 through Highlands Coffee to exploit the brand for the whole distribution chain of the group in the Philippines and other markets in the world.

The story with the weasel coffee brand of Vietnamese Trung Nguyen has also stirred up the public recently. An individual has registered the brand and embedded the information to advertise for Starbucks, a coffee brand which is going to penetrate the Vietnamese market.

Trung Nguyen Café has been well known not only in Vietnam but in the world as well. Weasel coffee products have become very famous with the name “Weasel Coffee” with the special version “Legendee.”

It seemed that Trung Nguyen fails to control the use of its brand on the markets, or it was too subjective in protecting the domain names relating to the special products.

The fact that an individual bought domain name to advertise for Starbucks, which is about to penetrate the Vietnamese market, and the fact that Trung Nguyen bought “”, but did not buy “” and “” both show that the enterprise does not attach much importance to e-commerce and the significance in protecting branding domain names.

It takes many years, great efforts and much money to build up a brand. However, when the brand gets famous, it would catch the inquisitive eyes from other businessmen. And it would take not much time to lose the brand one builds up with his sweat.

Manh Ha