Dairy Farm adds Starbucks Thailand to its portfolio

Hong Kong operator to partner with local investor, almost doubling its store network overnight.

Dairy Farm subsidiary Maxim’s is about to add Thailand to the list of markets it operates Starbucks cafes.

Maxim’s has partnered with a local subsidiary of Singapore-headquartered Fraser & Neave (F&N) to acquire Starbucks Thailand Ltd from the US parent company. F&N, listed in Singapore, is controlled by Thai Beverages, in turn controlled by Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi.

Under the joint venture, Maxim’s Caterers will oversee the retail operations and new store development in Thailand, with F&N apparently taking more of an investment role and fulfilling local company ownership requirements under Thai laws.

Financial details of the sale were not disclosed, but one US media channel, citing confidential sources, reported the deal was worth about US$500 million.

“The acquisition allows F&N to leverage Maxim’s long-standing partnership with Starbucks and its extensive experience in running Starbucks stores in multiple markets as well as other food and beverage retail outlets, to grow Starbucks Thailand’s fast-expanding footprint of 372 Starbucks stores,” said F&N in a statement.

Maxims, through its subsidiary Coffee Concepts, already operates more than 400 Starbucks stores in Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Macau and Cambodia.  

“This is a significant move for our company,” said John Culver, group president, Starbucks international, channel development and global coffee and tea.

“We are pleased to transition the Thailand business to Maxim’s Caterers Limited and F&N Retail Connection Co, with their focus on accelerating new store development to realise the full potential of this important market.”

“We look forward to leveraging our expertise and deep understanding of the Starbucks culture and brand to build on the unparalleled service, craft and passion of our Thai partners (employees) which will propel the business for the future,” said Michael Wu, chairman and MDof Maxim’s Caterers Limited. “We look forward to continuing to deliver the unique Starbucks Experience to Thai customers as we grow.”

“This acquisition provides an interesting strategic opportunity for F&N to enter and participate in the fast-growing premium retail coffee market in Thailand, one of F&N’s three significant core markets,” said Koh Poh Tiong, F&N’s chairman. “We believe that adding Starbucks Thailand, with its store footprint and its position as a well-recognised coffee retailer in Thailand, will strengthen our competencies in the on-premise sector and elevate our capabilities in directly engaging consumers, in the long term,” he said.

Starbucks Thailand was launched in 1998.


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