Star­bucks in full con­trol of China out­lets

The Korea Times - - WORLD BUSINESS -

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.

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