Starbucks acquires 60 outlets from operator
Starbucks Corp., the world's largest coffee-shop chain, bought the parent of Beijing Mei Da Coffee Co., which operates more than 60 Starbucks retail stores in China, gaining more control over its brand, Bloomberg reported.
Starbucks bought High Grown Investment Group (Hong Kong) Ltd., the controlling shareholder of Beijing Mei Da, from H&Q Asia Pacific, a private equity firm, Starbucks said in a statement in Beijing today. The stores are in Beijing and Tianjin. The purchase price wasn't disclosed, said Bloomberg.
Starbucks' ownership will bring ``greater operational efficiencies'' and ``accelerate our expansion in China,'' Jin Long Wang, president of Starbucks Greater China, said in the statement. ``We are now poised to expand rapidly in this important region two years before the 2008 Beijing Olympics.''
Starbucks aims to more than triple its outlets around the world to 40,000 to challenge Yum! Brands Inc. and McDonald's Corp. as the world's biggest restaurant company. Chief Executive Officer Jim Donald has said China will probably become the company's biggest market outside the U.S., with as many as 6,000 or 7,000 locations.
The 40,000 target announced this month supplanted the company's previous goal of 30,000 stores. Starbucks had 12,440 stores as of Oct. 1, including 8,800 in the U.S. and 3,600 international locations. The company has 190 stores in 19 cities in mainland China.