NEW YORK — As part of a global strategy to grow its business fivefold, Godiva Chocolatier will sell select international assets. MBK Partners will purchase the retail and distribution operations in four Godiva markets: Japan, South Korea, Australia and the future rights to develop New Zealand. Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close midway through the year, were not disclosed.
“We believe this deal is a win-win for everyone,” said Annie Young-Scrivner, chief executive officer of Godiva Chocolatier, when the deal was announced Feb. 20. “It gives us the financial flexibility we need to execute our 5x growth strategy by accelerating efforts in new and existing markets and supporting the plan of opening more than 2,000 cafes globally while preserving our Belgian legacy, quality and craftmanship that have helped to make our brand iconic.”
The transaction includes consumer packaged goods, digital commerce, travel retail (for Japan and South Korea), more than 300 retail stores and a Godiva production facility in Brussels.
After the transaction closes, Godiva will retain brand ownership in all global markets and will grant a perpetual license to MBK Partners, a private equity firm with offices in China, South Korea and Japan. Godiva will continue to own and operate its remaining markets in over 100 countries. Godiva will continue to source its products from the Belgian facility as well as from a production facility it owns in Pennsylvania and its affiliate facilities in Istanbul, Turkey.
Godiva, based in Brussels, is owned by Yildiz Holding, Istanbul. Since 2008, Godiva has nearly doubled its revenue and the number of stores operating globally, said Murat Ülker, chairman of Godiva and Yildiz.
“Realizing the potential ahead, together with Godiva leadership, we conducted a strategic review to explore new ways for generating the necessary cash flow to fuel the robust growth,” he said. “This transaction is an ideal solution that provides the momentum to fuel expansion in other high potential areas of our portfolio.”