Costa Coffee Heats Up China Pot With Local Partner Buyout
The owner of the Costa coffee chain has bought out its South China partner, months after larger rival Starbucks Corp. made a similar move as the two companies seek to gain more control over their respective brands and operations in the fast-growing market.
Whitbread PLC said it paid 310 million yuan ($47.0 million) to buy out the 49% of its joint venture owned by local partner Yueda. Following the buyout, Whitbread will own 100% of the company that operates 252 stores in its South China region, which includes 93 stores in Shanghai.
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