Starbucks Corp, the world's biggest coffee chain, recently reached new agreements with its joint venture partners, giving it full ownership of Chinese mainland stores.
On July 27, Starbucks announced that it would buy the remaining 50 percent stake from Uni-President Enterprises Corp and President Chain Store Corp for about .3 billion in cash, in its biggest single acquisition to date.
After the acquisition, Starbucks will obtain 100 percent ownership in 1,300 stores in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces.
Meanwhile, Uni-President Enterprises and President Chain Store will acquire Starbucks' half share in President Starbucks Coffee Taiwan Ltd and assume 100 percent ownership of Starbucks operations in Taiwan of China for about 5 million.
Both transactions are expected to close early in 2018 and are waiting for regulatory approval.
The deal indicates Starbucks is paying more attention to Chinese mainland market as growth from its US market is cooling, Securities Daily said.
Zhu Danpeng, a researcher at the China Brand Research Institute specializing in food and beverage business, told the newspaper that Starbucks has listed China as one of its core markets for global development strategy, and the deals would help Starbucks better implement its expansion strategy.
With 2,800 stores and about 40,000 employees across 130 Chinese mainland cities, the Seattle-based coffee chain plans to expand to 5,000 stores by 2021. Same-store sales from Chinese mainland were up 7 percent in the third quarter ended July 2.