Costa coffee owner pays £35m for its China business

Whitbread is seeking to acquire full control of its Chinese Costa coffee business

The owner of Costa has paid £35million to seize control of its business in China.

Whitbread currently owns 51 per cent of Costa’s Chinese business, operating 252 chains in the region in partnership with Yueda.

But it is seeking to acquire the remaining 49 per cent from the investment group as demand for coffee in China takes off.

The increased demand has caught the attention of big-brand chains, with Starbucks announcing it would be extending its reach in China with a £910million deal for control of more than 1,000 coffee shops in July.

Whitbread boss Alison Brittain says the Costa Chinese takeover is part of her firm’s plan to grow internationally.

She said: ‘The coffee shop market in China is highly attractive, with a compelling opportunity for Costa to grow its presence over the longer term. 

‘This gives us full strategic and funding flexibility to unlock Costa’s potential in China.’

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