Auto billionaire takes over agriculture firm HAGL Agrico

Billionaire Tran Ba Duong has taken over as chairman of agriculture firm HAGL Agrico.

Vietnam, HAGL Agrico, Thaco, Tran Ba Duong

The company’s shareholders on Friday gave approval for Duong, chairman of auto firm Truong Hai Auto (Thaco), 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.

When the deal is completed, Thagrico will own a 63 percent stake in HAGL Agrico.

Duong eyes to steer 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.

It targets revenues of VND2.1 trillion this year, down by half from its 2020 target.

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