Pan Food Joint Stock Company has raised its stake in confectionery maker Bibica (coded BB on the HCM Stock Exchange) to 42.25 percent, becoming the second biggest shareholder of Bibica after Korea's Lotte Confectionery.

In a filing to the HCM City bourse in mid-May, Pan Food announced it purchased almost 3.26 million Bibica shares, equivalent to 21.12 percent of the company's outstanding shares in the market.

The amount of purchased shares was lower than the number the company registered to buy.

In early April, Pan Food made a public bid for more than 4.6 million shares of Bibica, which would account for a 29.87 percent stake. At that time, it owned 21.13 percent of BBC's stakes.

Pan Food said the deal aimed to serve the long-term investment. It offered to buy each share for 56,800 VND (2.62 USD), costing about 185 billion VND (8.5 million USD) for the deal.

The price of BBC has climbed 7 percent since early April, from 57,500 VND a share on April 3 to 61,500 VND on May 15.

Earlier on Bibica's website, the company announced three of five board members had no objection to the proposed bid of Pan Food.

Lotte is still the largest stakeholder with a 44.03 stake of Bibica's charter capital.

Pan Food is a subsidiary of the Pan Pacific Corporation (coded PAN), which specialises in agriculture and food products.

Apart from Pan Food, another subsidiary of Pan Pacific, Ben Tre Aquaproduct Import and Export Co (coded ABT), currently holds a 3.58 percent stake in Bibica.

Bibica is one of the leading confectionery makers in Vietnam, with popular brands including Hura, Choco Bella, Orienko, Zoo and OneTwoThree. It reported sales of almost 1.13 trillion VND (52.8 million USD) in 2014, an increase of 7 percent over the previous year. Its net profit jumped 27 percent to touch 57.4 billion VND (2.7 million USD).

Pan Pacific (PAN) reported a consolidated revenue of over 1.12 trillion VND (52 million USD) and a pre-tax profit of 183 billion VND (8.4 million USD) for the whole year.-VNA