15 March 2018 | Brazil

Starbucks partners with private equity firm to drive growth in Brazil

Partnership with SouthRock Capital will fully license Starbucks retail operations in Brazil and give global coffee giant access to an extensive real estate portfolio
 
Starbucks Coffee Company has announced it will fully license its Brazilian retail operations to private equity firm and restaurant operator SouthRock Capital. The agreement will grand the multi-brand restaurant firm rights to develop and operate Starbucks stores as the global chain seeks to expand in the Latin American nation.

“We strongly believe this is the right time to leverage a strong local business partner like SouthRock as we pursue our ambitious, long-term growth agenda for Brazil,” said Ricardo Rico, General Manager and Vice President for Starbucks licensed store operations, Latin America, in a press statement.

The deal will give Starbucks’ access to SouthRock’s market knowledge in commercial real estate, marketing and operations. These include its Brazil Airport Restaurants subsidiary, which operates international food and beverage brands across the country’s major airports.

“We see continued opportunities for growth in existing markets like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, as well as new markets like Brasilia and the South, and look forward to leveraging our local market capabilities to create even greater value for both Starbucks employees and customers,” said SouthRock founder and CEO, Ken Pope.

Starbucks entered the Brazilian market in 2006 and currently operates 113 stores in 17 cities across São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states, employing 1,450. The new deal means Starbucks’ retail operations across 17 markets in Latin America and the Caribbean will now be wholly licensed instead of directly managed. The global coffee chain will open its first Uruguay store later this year.
 

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