Starbucks to take full control of French operations

Seattle Starbucks Coffee Co. announced Tuesday that it plans to acquire the 50% of its French operations it does not already own, moving to take full control of the fast-growing market.

Starbucks said it entered into an agreement with joint-venture partner Grupo Vips of Spain under which Starbucks, through its subsidiaries, will assume 100% operating control of the Starbucks business in France, converting the market to a company-operated business.

As part of the transaction, which is expected to close on Sept. 30, Grupo Vips will be a fully licensed partner with exclusive rights to operate Starbucks coffeehouses within the territories of Spain and Portugal. Prior to the execution of this agreement, Starbucks and Grupo Vips each held 50% equity stakes in the operating entities in France, Spain and Portugal.

“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. “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.”

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