Starbucks Coffee International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee Company announced over the weekend that it plans to acquire its licensed operations in Switzerland and Austria from its partner, Bon appetit Group.

“As Starbucks continues to rapidly expand its presence worldwide, one of our key long term global strategies is to establish a larger equity position in our international business,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and chief global strategist, Starbucks Coffee Company. “The opportunity to convert the Swiss and Austrian operations to company-operated markets is consistent with this strategy. In the past several years we have pursued similar opportunities by acquiring our licensed operations in Thailand and Australia as well as increasing our equity position in our South Korean business.”

“Our decision to acquire these businesses is in line with our expansion strategy,” said Peter Maslen, president, Starbucks Coffee International. “We are grateful to the Bon appetit Group for bringing the Starbucks experience to Switzerland and Austria. With this strong brand foundation, we look forward to continuing our growth in these two markets and the region.”

“Starbucks has been a great business partner,” said Beat Curti, founder, Bon appetit Group. “We came to a mutually beneficial agreement on the acquisition as Bon appetit Group has decided to refocus our resources on the development of our core business. I am confident Starbucks will have a great future in both Switzerland and Austria.”

According to a statement released by Starbucks, this cash purchase is expected to close by the end of April 2003. The specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. As a result of the acquisition, the Company will reflect in prior year results a proportionate share of start-up losses typical of new market development. The fiscal 2001 and fiscal 2002 impact does not change the Company’s previously reported earnings per share of $0.46 and $0.54 respectively. Following the acquisition the Company-operated market results will be included in Starbucks reported consolidated earnings. The Company does not expect this acquisition to impact its financial goals for fiscal 2003 and continues to target earnings per share of $0.67-$0.68 for the fiscal year.

The first Starbucks locations opened in Zurich, Switzerland, and Vienna, Austria, on March 7 and December 7, 2001, respectively. Upon completion of this acquisition, Starbucks will Company-operate 14 stores in Switzerland, 7 stores in Austria and will continue to grow the business in both markets.

News, Starbucks