SEATTLE, Wash. (AP) — Starbucks is selling its Seattle’s Best Coffee brand to Nestlé for an undisclosed amount.
Nestlé, which is based in Vevey, Switzerland, has partnered with Seattle-based Starbucks since 2018 and already distributes Starbucks-branded coffee in more than 80 markets around the world.
David Rennie, head of coffee brands at Nestlé, said the acquisition of Seattle’s Best will continue to expand the company’s portfolio and provide more choice for customers. Nestlé also owns the Nescafé, Nespresso and Blue Bottle brands.
Starbucks acquired Seattle’s Best Coffee in 2003 for $72 million. The deal gave Starbucks a cheaper brand and access to Seattle’s best deals with grocers and food service providers.
But Starbucks is currently focusing on a expensive makeover of its North American stores. The company said last month it plans to spend $450 million next year to make its stores more efficient.
The company also spent over $1 billion over the past year, it has raised workers’ pay and benefits as it tries to thwart a campaign to unionize its stores.
“We are confident that Nestlé will continue to grow the Seattle’s Best Coffee brand as we focus on our strategy to enhance the premium coffee experience for consumers through the Starbucks brand,” said Michael Conway, President of the Starbucks Channel Development Group, in a statement.
Nestlé and Starbucks said they expect the deal to close later this year.
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