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Starbucks to acquire half of Barnie's locations.

Starbucks Corp. reports that it is buying 56 of Barnie's Coffee & Tea Co. locations, most of them in Florida, for an undisclosed price. Barnie's c.e.o., Neal Leach, says the sale was "an effort to re-position the company to better focus on our core objectives. He also confirmed that the Barnie's brand is not going away, and that all other portions of the Barnie's system, including some company stores, will continue to operate. Man Hilowitz, a Starbucks spokesman, says the agreement is strictly a real estate transaction and that none of Barnie's inventory or branded products are involved in the deal.

Barnie's, when recently reported, said it had more than 100 company-owned and franchised retail locations domestically and internationally. The company reported revenue of $67.3 million for its most recent fiscal year. In the last two years, they have also opened stores in New York, Indonesia, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Ireland. Additional stores are planned for China, India, Korea, Mexico, Europe and South America, as well as another 25-plus stores in the U.S.

Founded in 1980, Barnie's was acquired by Sara Lee Corp. in 1995. In 2001, Barnie's was sold to Leach, a former Blockbuster franchisee, who has led the strategy of international expansion, as well as in adding franchisees.

Last fall, the company signed an agreement with REY-food of Istanbul to open a franchise in Istanbul, Turkey, with the goal of opening 11 more by the end of this year, and a total of 60 locations.
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Title Annotation:Trade News
Publication:Tea & Coffee Trade Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 20, 2006
Words:251
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