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Carlyle acquires Korean café chain A Twosome Place
US firm retaining current management team to further build on the brand and franchise network
The Asset 19 Nov 2021

US private equity firm Carlyle is acquiring A Twosome Place, one of the leading premium café chain operators in South Korea. No valuation was disclosed but local press reports value the deal at around 800 billion won (US$676 million).

Established in 2002, A Twosome Place operates over 1,400 stores, which offer a variety of high-quality cake and dessert choices for consumers.

An affiliated entity of Carlyle Asia Partners V, an investment fund managed and advised by affiliated entities of The Carlyle Group, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the company from Anchor Equity Partners.

Carlyle says it will leverage its consumer and retail industry expertise, global network and resources to further strengthen the brand, optimize its store footprint, and enhance its product offerings and marketing capabilities.

John Kim, managing director at Carlyle, says: “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.”

Welcoming the new partnership, Yi says:  “There is significant opportunity for further growth in the Korean market, and we look forward to benefiting from Carlyle’s extensive global experience in the consumer F&B space.”

Carlyle has been investing in South Korea for more than 20 years, partnering with local companies to drive business growth and value creation. In 2021, it invested US$200 million in Kakao Mobility. In 2020, Carlyle invested in KB Financial Group and formed a strategic alliance with the company to collaborate on new investment opportunities both in Korea and oversea. It also partnered with Korean Re to explore co-insurance opportunities. In 2018, it sold its investment in ADT Caps, the second largest security services provider in the country, to SK Telecom and Macquarie.

Carlyle has deployed more than US$24 billion of equity in over 135 consumer and retail transactions globally as of September 30 2021.

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