Restaurant Brands sells Starbucks NZ to Tahua Capital

Restaurant Brands New Zealand has announced it will not renew its licence agreement with Starbucks Coffee when it expires in October. The company, with the approval of Starbucks, sold the fixed assets and stock of its Starbucks business to Tahua Capital, a New Zealand-owned company for a total price of up to NZ$4.4 million (approximately US$2.9 million). “Both Tahua and Starbucks share similar values about high-quality coffee, engaged partners (employees) and a passion to create positive change in the communities they serve,” Tahua Capital CEO Charles Belcher says. Tahua was established specifically for the purpose of acquiring the assets of Starbucks New Zealand. The new owners will enter into a new licence agreement with Starbucks and commit to a substantial store refurbishment and store opening program. Tahua will seek to secure assignment of the leases for the 22 stores currently in the network and employ all 300 existing Starbucks employees on the same terms and conditions they are under as Restaurant Brands’ employees. Restaurant Brands Chairman Ted van Arkel says that while the Starbucks business had provided a steady contribution to the group over a number of years, it was becoming less relevant to the company’s overall direction as it looked to further expand its core quick service restaurant brands in New Zealand and overseas. Restaurant Brands operates the New Zealand franchises for KFC, Carl’s Jr. and Pizza Hut, as well as a KFC in Australia and Taco Bell and Pizza Hut in Hawaii, Guam and Spain. Starbucks currently contributes less than four per cent of Restaurant Brands’ total sales. Restaurant Brands has agreed to provide interim support to Tahua Capital with stock management and information technology services for 12 months. The transaction is expected to settle in late October 2018.

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