TPG, Intel Capital invest in Vietnam's FPT Corp.

PHILADELPHIA, Oct 23 (Reuters) - FPT Corp., provider of information and communications-technology services in Vietnam, on Monday said it would get an investment of $36.5 million from private equity firm Texas Pacific Group and Intel Capital, the venture capital organization of Intel Corp. INTC.O.

FPT, which had 2005 revenues of more than $517 million, said it would use the funding to add new products and services and expand geographically.

The company provides systems integration, software services, telecommunications and Internet services, as well as e-media content. The company currently provides software-development services in Japan, but it said it aims to expand to other countries.

Vivek Paul, a partner with Texas Pacific, will serve as a special strategic advisor to FPT. Paul cited several strengths about the Vietnamese market, including a literacy rate of over 96 percent, a rapidly growing middle class, and Asia’s second-highest annual gross-domestic-product growth rate.

“This first-of-its-kind investment is a milestone for Vietnam, and reflects Intel Capital’s confidence in the market and its business climate,” said Varun Kapur, managing director, Intel Capital Asia Pacific. “Venture investing has the potential to contribute significantly to the growth of Vietnam’s IT (information technology) industry.”

Earlier this year, Intel said it would build a $605 million microchip assembly and testing plant in the commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City.