Vietnamese billionaire Tran Ba Duong, who founded THACO in 1997, a company that has grown to be the largest domestic automobile producer, has taken over as chairman of agriculture firm HAGL Agrico. Late last week, the company’s shareholders gave approval for Duong to replace Doan Nguyen Duc, who stepped down to become deputy chairman.
HAGL Agrico faces financial difficulties with debts of over VND16 trillion ($693 million). It had to sell four subsidiaries to Truong Hai Agriculture Company (Thagrico), a subsidiary of Thaco, for VND9.2 trillion, and Thagrico is set to invest VND7.4 trillion in HAGL Agrico, which will be enough to cover the debts.
E.vnexpress.net reports that when the deal is completed, Thagrico will own a 63 percent stake in HAGL Agrico. Duong intends to move HAGL Agrico toward hi-tech farming. It has 11,300 hectares of fruit orchards in Laos and 1,900 ha in northern Cambodia. It plans to replace dragon fruit, durian and avocado, which are not profitable, with banana, mango and pineapple in 2021-23.
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