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Starbucks leaves the S.Korea firm, sells shares in E-Mart, GIC

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Starbucks logo is seen at a Starbucks coffee shop in Seoul, South Korea on March 7, 2016. REUTERS / Kim Hong-Ji

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp announced on Monday that it will give up any direct stake in South Korea, its fifth largest market, and sell its 50% stake in a joint venture to local partner E-Mart Inc and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC.

E-Mart, which currently owns 50% of Starbucks (NASDAQ 🙂 Coffee Korea, said it will acquire an additional 17.5% stake valued at 474 billion won ($ 411.89 million).

This also suggests a valuation of Starbucks Coffee Korea of ​​$ 2.35 billion, Reuters calculations showed.

GIC will own the remaining 32.5% of the company, Starbucks said.

The US coffee chain operates more than 1,500 stores in 78 cities in South Korea, where sales rose 3.2% to 1.93 trillion won in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

"As a long-term investor, GIC is confident that Starbucks Coffee Korea will play an important role in setting retail coffee trends and driving industry growth," said Choo Yong Cheen, GIC's chief investment officer for private equity.

Starbucks said the deal is expected to close in the next 90 days.

($ 1 = 1,150,5800 won)

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