CJ to sell Twosome Place to Anchor Equity

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CJ to sell Twosome Place to Anchor Equity

CJ Foodville will sell its franchise cafe Twosome Place to Hong Kong-based private equity fund Anchor Equity Partners, the company announced Tuesday.

CJ Foodville, the restaurant arm of CJ Group, will sell a 45 percent stake to the equity firm for 202.5 billion won ($182 million).

Anchor Equity Partners already has shares in Twosome Place. It acquired a 40 percent stake in February last year, bringing its total stake up to 85 percent.

CJ Foodville will be left with a 15 percent stake in the franchise cafe.

Twosome Place is the second-biggest franchise cafe in Korea after Starbucks. Its sales last year stood at 274.3 billion won.

The move reflects CJ Foodville’s restructuring efforts to improve its struggling restaurant businesses. The company is known to have struggled due to the minimum wage hike and the poor performance of the restaurant industry over recent years.

It has been posting an operating loss in recent years, which skyrocketed last year to 43.4 billion won.

By selling Twosome Place, CJ Foodville plans to improve its financial status and strengthen its restaurant and bakery businesses.

CJ Foodville operates restaurants, including The Place, Bibigo, Seasonstable and VIPS, as well as bakery franchise Tous les Jours.

“We will focus on strengthening our foothold in the restaurant and bakery business,” said a spokesperson for CJ Foodville. “As the second-largest shareholder, CJ Foodville will provide full support and collaboration for Twosome Place to be managed independently.”

First established in 2002 in Sinchon, western Seoul, Twosome Place now has more than a thousand cafes in Korea.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]
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