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Advent Enters Strategic Partnership with Brazilian Chocolate Producer Grupo CRM

1 October 2020

Advent International has entered a strategic partnership with Brazil-based premium chocolate producer Grupo CRM and has reportedly acquired a majority stake in the company. Read more here and here (em português).

(Advent International) Advent International (“Advent”), one of the largest and most experienced global private equity investors, and Grupo CRM (“CRM”), the leading premium chocolate producer in Brazil with established brands such as Kopenhagen and Chocolates Brasil Cacau, today announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

With more than 800 stores across the country, CRM is one of the largest franchisors in Brazil, and the partnership with Advent will seek to further advance the organization’s growth. Renata Moraes Vichi will continue to lead CRM as CEO and remain a shareholder.

“I am thrilled with the opportunities for CRM that have been created by this strategic partnership with Advent. Advent is fully aligned with the plans we have established for the company’s future,” said Vichi. “I will continue to be an ambassador of our non-negotiable values, a guardian of our strengths and a tireless defender of the excellent quality of our products and our innovative DNA. Advent brings us not only its financial power, but also a deep knowledge of national and international retail. Together, we will be better prepared to grow, serve our customers and create new opportunities for our franchisees and employees.”

Under Vichi’s leadership, CRM has implemented an ambitious diversification program, including the launch in 2009 of the Chocolates Brasil Cacau brand, which today has more than 400 stores. In 2019, CRM created Kopenhagen’s Soul Good business platform, dedicated to consumers focused on a healthier lifestyle, as well as the coffee chain Kop Koffee.

“Renata’s decision to continue as CEO of CRM is an excellent symbol of the partnership between Advent and Grupo CRM and will serve as a great foundation for working together toward a successful future,” said Wilson Rosa, a Managing Director at Advent in São Paulo. “Renata has played a leading role in the Group’s achievements over the past 22 years, helping CRM become a nationwide operation with a network of excellent franchisees and a digital strategy that has dFemonstrated strong results during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The history of Kopenhagen began in 1928, and 92 years later, the iconic brand continues to be the clear leader in its markets, with a reputation as the best premium chocolate maker in the country. Kopenhagen has become a mainstay of Brazilian life with classic brands such as Língua de Gato, Nhá Benta, Lajotinha, Chumbinho and Cherry Brandy—widely known products that remain a foundation of the business.

Advent is one of the leading and longest-established private equity investors in Latin America. Over the past 24 years, the firm has invested or committed $6.8 billion in 64 businesses across the region. Earlier this week, Advent announced the completion of fundraising for its seventh Latin American fund, LAPEF VII, with $2 billion in commitments from investors around the world.

“This is a special week for Advent in Brazil, as we finished fundraising for LAPEF VII and completed our partnership with Grupo CRM,” said Mr. Rosa. “With the new fund, we will accelerate our investments in Brazilian companies, looking for thriving businesses that are leaders in their sectors and have great growth potential—everything we find in CRM.”

Advent opened its São Paulo office in 1997 and to date has invested $3.7 billion in 27 companies throughout Brazil in sectors such as retail, consumer and leisure; technology; business and financial services; healthcare; and industrial. Recent investments include Grupo BIG (formerly Walmart Brazil), the third-largest food retailer in Brazil; Nubank, the world’s largest independent digital bank; Easynvest, Brazil’s leading independent digital investment platform, which recently agreed to be acquired by Nubank; and CI&T, a Brazil-based global provider of digital transformation services.