Starbucks signs deal for more control in China

by Eric Schroeder
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SEATTLE — Starbucks Coffee Co. has signed an agreement with Maxim’s Caterers Ltd., its longtime joint-venture partner in South China, that will give Starbucks 100% equity of its business in the China provinces of Guangdong, Hainan, Sichuan, Shaanxi and Hubei, and the municipality of Chongqing. The agreement also gives Starbucks full control of more than half of the Starbucks retail stores in Mainland China.

Also as part of the agreement, Maxim’s has acquired Starbucks remaining equity stake in the Hong Kong and Macau markets, assuming 100% equity of those markets.

“Full ownership of our stores in Central, South and Western China is part of our broader strategy to build China as our second home market outside of the U.S. and allows us to accelerate growth as we look to achieve our goal of having 1,500 stores across the country by 2015,” said John Culver, president of Starbucks Coffee International. “In addition, this agreement demonstrates our commitment to our 11-year partnership with Maxim’s. We are confident they will continue to maximize the growth of the Starbucks brand in the Hong Kong and Macau markets, delivering an unparalleled Starbucks Experience to our customers.”

There are more than 110 Starbucks stores in Hong Kong and Macau, employing more than 1,300 partners in both markets.

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