US private equity firm is reported to be in the final stages of acquiring the South Korean coffee chain from Hong Kong-based Anchor Equity Partners
A branch of A Twosome Place in Seoul, South Korea | Photo credit: via Shutterstock
South Korea’s A Twosome Place could soon have a new US owner if a lucrative acquisition deal goes ahead.
According to reports South Korean media, the 1,400-store coffee chain is on the cusp of being acquired from current owners, Hong Kong-based Anchor Equity Partners, by US private investment firm The Carlyle Group for around 800bn won ($669m).
In May 2021, Anchor Equity Partners was reported to be mulling a 500bn won ($445m) IPO
for A Twosome Place. However, those plans appear to have been put on hold after the investment firm received acquisition offers for the coffee chain.
A Twosome Place fared well during the pandemic by pivoting towards drive-thru stores and expanding its beverage delivery network. The coffee chain’s annual revenues grew 10% during 2020 to reach 365bn won ($307m), with profits of around $34.6m.
Moreover, South Korea’s crowded branded coffee chain market remains healthy bet for international investors despite 18 months of pandemic disruption. World Coffee Portal data
shows the market grew 8.3% to exceed 25,000 outlets in 2020 and remains the largest in the region.
A Twosome Place was found in Seoul in 2002, it is South Korea’s third-largest branded coffee chain behind market leader Ediya Coffee and US-based Starbucks.