The final deal follows negotiations between Carlyle and Hong Kong-based Anchor Equity Partners, which owns the franchise. The exact value of the buyout has not been revealed, but investment banking sources estimate it to be worth between 700 billion won ($ 592 million) and 800 billion won.
Launched by CJ Foodville in 2002, A Twosome Place opened its first store in the Sinchon district, west of Seoul.
Positioned as a high-end dessert café, the coffee chain has more than 1,400 branches in the country and abroad.
CJ Group’s foodservice business unit sold its flagship coffeehouse chain to Anchor Equity Partners in April 2019 as part of a restructuring.
The Hong Kong-based private equity firm previously aimed to launch a public offering of A Twosome Place in May this year, but changed its plans after Carlyle and other global investment firms showed strong interest in the purchase of the brand.
As the new owner of A Twosome Place, Carlyle seeks to leverage its global network, resources and expertise in the consumer and retail sector to strengthen the coffee chain brand and optimize the imprint of its stores. The investment fund will be used to improve the coffee brand product offerings and marketing capabilities.
“A Twosome Place has built a strong brand and a leading position in the premium coffee sector in South Korea. We look forward to working with CEO Yi Young-sang and his experienced management team to strengthen the strong franchise network and capture important white space in the Korean market, ”said John Kim, Managing Director of Carlyle.
Carlyle had deployed more than $ 24 billion in equity in more than 135 consumer and retail transactions around the world as of the end of September of this year. She has been investing in Korea for over 20 years, partnering with local businesses to drive business growth and value creation.
Its portfolios include $ 200 million of investments in Kakao Mobility this year and the formation of a strategic alliance with KB Financial Group to collaborate on new global investment opportunities.
It also established a strategic partnership with Korean Re, a Seoul-based reinsurance company, to explore coinsurance opportunities, and sold its investment in ADT Caps, Korea’s second-largest security service provider, to SK Telecom and Macquarie. in 2018.
By Jie Ye-eun ([email protected])