Costa following Starbucks’ lead in China

The 252 stores in the South of China had previously been operated jointly with local partner Yueda. Photo credit – Costa

 

Costa has become the second firm in recent weeks to bet big on China’s growing appetite for coffee.

 

British coffee chain Costa, owned by the Whitbread group, has invested £35 million in buying a 49 percent share in some of its Chinese stores.

The 252 stores in the South of China had previously been operated jointly with local partner Yueda.

Costa is the second biggest coffee chain in China and it sees huge potential for growth in the country.

By making the investment in the stores, Costa becomes the second firm in recent weeks to bet big on China’s growing appetite for coffee.

In July, we reported that Starbucks (China’s largest coffee chain) had revealed plans to buy the majority of its stores in China, at a cost of some $1.3 billion.

Previously, some 1,300 Starbucks stores in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces were owned jointly by the firm and local partners Uni-President Enterprises Corp and President Chain Store Corp.

The $1.3 billion deal, which was the largest cash transaction ever made by Starbucks, saw these 1,300 stores become owned solely by Starbucks.

However, all 410 Starbucks outlets in Taiwan are now fully owned by a local partner, which effectively becomes a franchise of the US firm, rather than a joint venture partner.

Rupert Reid

Pilot and Senior Broadcast Journalist at Panda Radio. You can find him on Twitter @rupertreid

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