Godiva to sell select assets to MBK Partners to fuel business growth

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Godiva Café in Brussels, Belgium. The company plans to roll out 2,000 cafes globally as part of its 5X growth strategy. Photo: Godiva.
Godiva Café in Brussels, Belgium. The company plans to roll out 2,000 cafes globally as part of its 5X growth strategy. Photo: Godiva.

Related tags: Godiva, Chocolate

Godiva Chocolatier, owned by Yildiz Holding, is selling select assets to MBK Partners as part of a global strategy to grow the business fivefold.

Under the terms of the transaction, MBK Partners will purchase the retail and distribution operations in four of Godiva’s 100-plus markets: Japan, South Korea, Australia and the future rights to develop New Zealand. 

'Win-win'

It includes Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), digital-commerce, travel retail (for Japan and South Korea) and more than 300 retail stores. 

The transaction also includes the Godiva production facility in Brussels, Belgium, that supplies product to these markets. All remaining 100-plus markets will continue to be owned and operated by Godiva. 

This deal is a win-win for everyone. It gives us the financial flexibility we need to execute our 5x growth strategy by accelerating efforts in new and existing markets and supports the plan to open more than 2,000 cafes globally while preserving our Belgian legacy​,” said Annie Young-Scrivner, CEO, Godiva Chocolatier. 

The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of both parties and the transaction is anticipated to close in mid-2019. 

Post-close, Godiva Chocolatier will retain exclusive brand ownership in all global markets, granting a perpetual license to MBK Partners, and will continue to own and operate the remaining markets in over 100 countries. 

Godiva will continue to source its products from the Belgian facility, together with the production facility it owns in Pennsylvania and its affiliate facilities in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Portfolio expansion

Since 2008 we have been very pleased with the performance of Godiva, having nearly doubled its revenue and the number of stores operating globally, and continue to see tremendous upside for this brand moving forward​,” said Murat Ülker, chairman, Godiva and Yildiz Holding. 

This transaction provides the momentum to fuel expansion in other high potential areas of our portfolio​.”  

Among Godiva’s 100 plus markets, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand collectively have some of the strongest brand equity today and more than 300 retail stores, making these regions the most compelling areas for monetization.

At the same time, there is significant unrealized opportunity for the brand that, when coupled with the infusion of capital, infrastructure and capabilities from MBK Partners, is expected to deliver a strong return on investment.  

The company will keep its European headquarters in Brussels, Belgium; continue to own and operate its Belgium retail stores, travel retail and CPG channels; and it will continue its Brussels-based Center of Excellence for R&D.   

Godiva will also maintain exclusive rights to its iconic recipes, continue the development of chef-inspired creations. 

The factory in Brussels will continue to produce and export Godiva products globally under the ownership of MBK Partners.   

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