| South Korea

South Korea’s A Twosome Place acquired by The Carlyle Group

US private equity firm snaps up South Korea’s third largest coffee chain from Hong Kong-based Anchor Equity Partners

A Twosome Place operates more than 1,400 coffee shops in South Korea | Photo credit: via Shutterstock

South Korea’s third-largest coffee chain will be under new ownership after being acquired by US private equity firm, The Carlyle Group.
The value of the transaction was not disclosed. However, A Twosome Place changed hands for 450bn won ($422m) when Hong Kong-based Anchor Equity Partners acquired it from CJ Foodville Co in 2018. 
The definitive agreement to acquire A Twosome Place ends months of speculation about the future of the coffee chain, which was reportedly considering an IPO before mooted sale offers.
In a press release, The Carlyle Group said it would leverage its global consumer and retail expertise to ‘optimise’ A Twosome Place’s store footprint and enhance its products and marketing capabilities.
“A Twosome Place has built a strong brand and positioning as a leader in South Korea’s premium café sector. We look forward to working with the CEO Young-Sang Yi and his experienced management team to further build upon the strong franchise network and capture the significant white space in the Korean market,” said John Kim, Managing Director at Carlyle Group.
Young-Sang Yi, CEO of A Twosome Place, commented: “Our entire management team is tremendously excited to be partnering with Carlyle to drive A Twosome Place to its next stage of development. There is significant opportunity for further growth in the Korean market, and we look forward to benefitting from Carlyle’s extensive global experience in the Consumer F&B space.”
Founded in 2002, A Twosome Place has more than 1,400 coffee shops South Korea, making it the country’s third largest coffee chain behind domestic market leader Ediya Coffee and US-based Starbucks.
Operating since 1990, The Carlyle Group group manages $293bn of assets across the defence, consumer retail, finance, healthcare, industrial and infrastructure sectors. Its $24bn consumer, retail and media business contains a portfolio of more than 40 companies, including McDonald’s China and Alamar Foods, which holds the franchise for Domino’s Pizza and Dunkin' in the MENA region.

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