Korea’s largest private equity fund MBK Partners has been selected as the preferred bidder to acquire global chocolatier Godiva’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region, from Turkish firm Yildiz Holding.
Courtesy of Godiva
The PEF, with some US$15 billion won assets under management as of 2017, beat competitors including Hong Kong-based Baring Private Equity Asia, Tokyo-based Marunouchi Capital and European PEF CVC Capital Partners.
The transaction volume is reportedly worth between US$1 billion and US$1.5 billion, but the figure has yet to be confirmed.
The deal includes Godiva’s operations in Korea, Japan and Australia, as well as the production facility supplying these regions. The business reportedly generates some US$360 million in annual revenue, which mostly comes from 300 shops in Japan.
Yildiz, the Istanbul-based family-owned global food product maker, has owned Godiva since 2007 after spending US$850 million. Its operations in Asia and Oceania were put on sale late last year, amid Yildiz’s growing leverage pressure from purchase of McVitie‘s maker United Biscuits and Flipz chocolate pretzels maker Demet’s, plus Turkey’s souring diplomatic tensions with the United States.
MBK Partners has jumped into megadeals at home and abroad, including online gaming giant Nexon’s holding company NXC and retail giant Lotte’s three financial arms. The Korean PEF also bought theme park Universal Studios Japan and jewelry brand Tasaki Zinnia.
By Son Ji-hyoung (firstname.lastname@example.org)