Alsea gains control of Mexico's Starbucks stores

MEXICO CITY, April 1 Mon Apr 1, 2013 6:46pm EDT

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MEXICO CITY, April 1 (Reuters) - Mexico restaurant operator Alsea on Monday said it reached an agreement with Starbucks to take equity control of the world's biggest coffee chain's Mexican stores.

Alsea also agreed to open 50 new Starbucks stores a year for the next five years in Mexico as part of the deal, the company said in a statement.

To take control of the operation, Alsea will buy out an 18 percent stake that a Starbucks international affiliate held in the Alsea subsidiary currently operating the Mexico stores.

The statement did not say how much Alsea will pay for that stake.

Alsea in October said it plans to invest $75 million opening 170 new stores in Mexico, Starbucks' fastest-growing Latin American market, over the next three years.

Shares of Alsea, which also operates restaurant chains including PF Chang's, Domino's Pizza, and Burger King in Mexico, closed down 0.17 percent at 35.46 pesos before the announcement.

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