Starbucks in full control of China outlets
SHANGHAI (AFP) — U.S. coffee chain Starbucks has announced it will take full control of its mainland China outlets in a $1.3 billion deal, the largest single acquisition in the company’s history.
It will buy the remaining 50 percent of its East China joint venture from Taiwan’s food and beverage giant Uni-President, according to a company statement issued Thursday.
Starbucks will gain full control of 1,300 stores in 25 cities, including commercial hub Shanghai, from Uni-President Enterprises and a subsidiary, the statement said.
Starbucks has seen rapid expansion in China, where it opened its first cafe 17 years ago. By 2011, the company had 400 outlets while today it has nearly 600 in Shanghai alone.
Kevin Johnson, Starbucks chief executive, described the move as “a critical next step” that can help fulfill its goal of almost doubling the number of its mainland outlets to 5,000 from the current 2,800.