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Reuters reports that Starbucks Corp. will spend $72 million to acquire Seattle Coffee Co.’s US and Canadian operations, which include Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia Coffee brands.

The seller is AFC Enterprises Inc. , which owns restaurant chains that include Popeye’s Chicken & Biscuits and Cinnabon. The deal is expected to close within 90 days.

Starbucks said that it plans to expand the operation’s retail and wholesale businesses.
KC's View:
It will be interesting to see how Starbucks deals with the new acquisitions, and whether it is able to keep their identities separate from the more dominant flagship brand. There’s almost certainly a point at which synergies make sense operationally, but from a marketing perspective, it is more sensible to keep things distinct.

The Associated Press had an interesting story yesterday about some of the growth challenges faced by Starbucks in the global markets it is expanding into, and which may in part explain the acquisition it made in the US.

The fact is, not everybody loves Starbucks. “What some see as growth, others see as corporate colonialism. What some see as international expansion of Starbucks, others see as the outright hijacking of foreign cultures,” the AP reports.