LONDON Jan 27 The world's biggest coffee chain
Starbucks Corp denied it had threatened to suspend
investment in Britain in protest over perceived government
criticism of its tax affairs.
"Starbucks remains fully committed to opening 300 new stores
and creating 5,000 new jobs by 2016," the company said in a
statement on Sunday.
"We do not discuss the details of our Government meetings,
but can say that we do not recognise how it has been reported."
The Sunday Telegraph said the Seattle-based coffee chain had
demanded talks with British officials last week after Prime
Minister David Cameron warned tax-avoiding firms to "wake up and
smell the coffee" - seen as a reference to Starbucks.
Starbucks threatened to put on hold plans announced last
year to invest 100 million pounds ($158.06 million) in new
British branches, the paper said, citing unnamed sources close
to the company.
Last year, Starbucks was caught up in a consumer backlash
against legal techniques used by companies to cut their tax
bills after Reuters revealed it had booked no profit and paid no
tax in Britain for three years, despite telling investors its
British arm was profitable.
The company has since bowed to public pressure and is
expected to pay about 20 million pounds in British corporation
tax over the next two years.