Question: We are Singapore investor and would like to acquire a cable televistion service company in Vietnam. Is it possible to do this M&A in Vietnam.
Answer: Under Vietnam WTO Commitment, television service including cable television is not mentioned. Thus, in theory, Vietnam Government can determine to open this market to foreign investor as its own direction.
Under Vietnam Law, television service is classified to press activities and conditional investment sector. It is silent on whether foreign investor is authorized to provide television service or not.
However, according to our practical experience in the field, in May 25, 2009, Canal + International Development was very first foreign investor licensed to joint venture with Vietnam Cable Television Technical Center to setup Vietnam Satellite Digital Television Company Limited (VSTV) to provide satellite digital television service in Vietnam.
The investment project was subjected to approval of the Prime Minister. We also would like to note that such case is for reference only and it cannot be used as precedent to request Vietnam Government to grant approval for any next case.
Based on the above analysis, we are in opinion that foreign investor still has possibility to acquire a cable television service company in Vietnam. However, there is no chance for foreign investor to buy in 100% capital of such Company. Specific foreign ownership percentage in such company shall be very much depended on approval of the Prime Minister.
The transaction shall be also subjected to approval of Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information and Communication and Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism.
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