By Kwanwoo Jun
U.S. coffee chain Starbucks Corp. said it will sell its entire 50% stake in its South Korean unit to Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte. Ltd. and local partner E-Mart Inc.
GIC will acquire 32.5% of Starbucks Coffee Korea and E-Mart will take the remaining 17.5% on top of its existing 50% stake, Starbucks said in a statement.
Starbucks said it expects to complete the stake sales over the next 90 days, without elaborating on divestment terms.
E-Mart in a separate regulatory filing Tuesday confirmed its planned purchase of 700,000 shares of Starbucks Coffee Korea for 474 billion won ($411.2 million) to secure a total of 67.5% in the venture and cement its managerial rights.
South Korean media recently reported that GIC had made a roughly KRW800 billion investment offer and proposed that Starbucks Coffee Korea should go public in the future.
Starbucks has partnered with E-Mart, an affiliate of South Korean retail conglomerate Shinsegae Group, to operate the joint venture in South Korea since 1999.
Starbucks Coffee Korea has since grown to operate more than 1,500 stores across 78 cities in South Korea, the fifth-largest market for the global coffee chain.
Write to Kwanwoo Jun at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires