Starbucks is to take full ownership of all its China outlets, after agreeing to buying out its joint venture partner for $1.3bn (£994m).The deal will see it acquire the 50% stake it does not already hold in 1,300 stores in Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang.Starbucks already fully owns the other 1,500 outlets in China – its fastest-growing market outside of the US.The coffee giant said the buyout was its biggest ever acquisition. The announcement came as Seattle-based Starbucks announced net income fell 8.3% to $691.6m for the three months to July – only just matching market expectations.
The company also announced plans to close all 379 of its Teavana stores by the middle of next year because they had been “persistently underperforming”. Starbucks bought the tea brand for $620m in 2012, and plans to continue carrying the products in its main Starbucks stores.Starbucks shares fell 5.5% to $56.24 in after-hours trading.Chinese dreamsThe latest results are the first under new chief executive Kevin Johnson, who took over from co-founder Howard Schulz in December.Mr Johnson described the China buyout as part of the firm’s “long game” to deal with cooling growth in the US.
The world’s largest coffee chain is being affected by a reduced footfall in America’s malls and high streets, as more consumers turn to shopping online or buying from meal kit sellers and convenience stores.Same-store sales in the US rose by 5% last quarter. In China, there was 7% growth.License dealStarbucks already has a presence in 130 Chinese cities and hopes to expand its 2,800 stores to more than 5,000 outlets by 2021.There are nearly 600 stores in Shanghai alone, the largest number of any city globally. Meanwhile, Starbucks said it was offloading its 50% stake in all 410 outlets in Taiwan, meaning they will be fully owned by its joint venture partners. who pay the US firm license fees.The firm made a similar move with its Hong Kong and Macau operations in 2011.
Source: BBC News