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Starbucks licenses Thai operations to Charoen-backed venture

A Starbucks logo is seen on an espresso machine in a store inside the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, United States, October 27, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp said on Thursday that a company controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi and a Hong Kong-based firm had won an exclusive deal to operate and develop its retail business in Thailand.

The agreement, which it expects to close this month, is with Coffee Concepts, a joint venture between Hong Kong-based Maxim's Caterers Limited and F&N Retail Connection Co. Ltd, a company owned by Chareon's Thai Beverage Pcl.

Thai Beverage, known for its pale lager Chang beer, has non-alcoholic drinks portfolio that includes carbonated drinks and green tea.

Starbucks began operations in Thailand in 1998 and has 372 stores in the market.

Maxim's Caterers has been Starbucks' partner in Hong Kong since 2000 and also operates stores in Cambodia, Singapore and Vietnam. Under the agreement, Maxim's Caterers will oversee the retail operations and new store development in Thailand.


(Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Anshuman Daga)