Starbucks acquiring ownership of France business

by Eric Schroeder
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PARIS — Starbucks Coffee Co. has announced it is acquiring full ownership of Starbucks Coffee France SAS.

Specifically, though its subsidiaries, Starbucks Coffee EMEA and Starbucks Coffee International, have entered an agreement with a joint-venture partner, Sigla S.A. of Spain (also known as Grupo Vips), through which Starbucks will assume 100% operating control of the business in France. The business in France will then be converted to a company-operated business.

"Grupo Vips has always been and will continue to be a great business partner for us in Europe," said Martin Coles, president of Starbucks Coffee International. "Grupo Vips and their partners have established Starbucks as one of the most respected and recognized brands in France. We are excited to work with Grupo Vips in a new capacity as our strategic licensed partner in Spain and Portugal as we continue to focus on operational excellence and customer experience in the region."

The transaction is expected to close on Sept. 30 and will make Grupo Vips a full-licensed partner with exclusive rights to operate Starbucks coffeehouses in Spain and Portugal.

"This is a great time for Starbucks to continue growing the business in France while we dedicate our resources, market expertise and attention to strengthening the Starbucks brand in Spain and Portugal, two markets where we will be able to leverage greater synergies with the rest of our Grupo Vips businesses in order to maximize the growth of the brand locally," said Placido Arango, president of Grupo Vips.

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