Starbucks signs licensing agreement with Brazil private equity firm

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Sao Paulo private equity firm SouthRock Capital has signed an agreement with Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) that gives it the right to develop and operate branches of the Seattle-based chain in Brazil, the companies said late on Monday.

A cup of coffee rests on a counter at a Starbucks coffeehouse in Austin, Texas, U.S., February 10, 2017. Picture taken February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed

With the agreement, the value of which was not disclosed, all of Starbucks’ retail operations in Latin America are now wholly licensed rather than directly managed, the companies said.

SouthRock founder Ken Pope said in a statement the fund would eye expansion opportunities in new and existing markets. Starbucks now has 113 stores across the populous states of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

“With Starbucks, we see continued opportunities for growth in existing markets… as well as new markets like Brasilia and the South,” he said.

SouthRock also owns Brazil Airport Restaurants, which operates in the nation’s biggest airports.

Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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