The Carlyle Group said Thursday that it has invested RMB530 million (approximately US$85 million) in Ubox Technology & Trade Co. Ltd. Ubox, of Beijing, is a vending machine operator in China.
Beijing, China – Global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) today announced that its RMB fund Carlyle Beijing Partners Fund, L.P. and affiliates have invested RMB530 million (approximately US$85 million) in Beijing Ubox Technology & Trade Co., Ltd, a vending machine operator in China. The RMB fund was established by Carlyle with the support of the Beijing Municipal Government.
Established in 2010, Ubox is one of the largest and fastest-growing vending machine operators in China.Through its self-operated and franchise expansion models, Ubox has established a strong national vending machine network in China with more than 30,000 vending machines across 58 cities as of June 30, 2015.
In addition to the traditional vending machine functionality, Ubox provides customers with an integrated “online-to-offline” (O2O) shopping experience where they can shop online via its mobile application and collect their purchase at a Ubox interactive vending machine. At the same time, leveraging its information technology platform, Ubox has established a “retail plus internet-enabled advertisement” business model that has fostered the innovation of China’s vending machine industry.
Eric Zhang, Managing Director of the Carlyle Asia buyout team, said, “China’s vending machine market is still at an early stage of development, with great potential for growth. The industry has seen an accelerated pace of growth in recent years, driven by increasing disposable income, rising urban population density and consumers’ preference for convenient lifestyles. With its well-established market position, Ubox is poised for continued success, in its traditional retail business as well as various value-added initiatives.“
Jeffrey Gui, Managing Director of the Carlyle Asia buyout team, added, “Ubox is founded by a group of internet veterans with a solid information technology background and its smart vending machines with a proprietary information technology system are specifically designed to suit the needs of the people in the mobile internet era. We will work with the management team to expand its machine network and consumer coverage through our global resources and industry expertise.”
Wang Bin, Chairman of Ubox, said, “Over the past four years, Ubox has innovated the production efficiency and business model of China’s vending machine industry through its internet and online payment tools, driving the fast development of the market. Supported by urbanization and stable economic growth, China’s vending machine industry is expected to grow at a rapid pace in the next five to ten years. We are delighted to partner with Carlyle at this important stage of our company’s development. The partnership will enable us to realize our ambition to further expand our vending machine network in China, improve our digitalmarketing and advertising business and explore other value-add services for our customers. We are confident that this partnership will significantly contribute to the continuing development and expansion of our business.”
Carlyle has invested approximately $6.3 billion of equity in 81 transactions in China as of June 30, 2015.
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About The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with $193 billion of assets under management across 128 funds and 159 fund of funds vehicles as of June 30, 2015. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,700 people in 35 offices across six continents.
About Beijing Ubox Technology & Trade Co., Ltd
Founded in 2010, Ubox is one of the largest and fastest-growing vending machine operators in China. Through its self-operated and franchise expansion models, Ubox has established a strong national vending machine network in China with more than 30,000 vending machines across 58 cities as of June 30, 2015.