23.11.2004: Meldung: Starbucks to Acquire Operations in Germany

Starbucks Coffee International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks Corporation, today announced it has acquired its licensed operations in Germany from its partner, KarstadtQuelle AG.

"This transaction underlines KarstadtQuelle"s intention to strengthen its focus on its core business," said Dr. Christoph Achenbach, chairman of the Board of Directors, KarstadtQuelle AG. "We came to a mutually beneficial agreement on the acquisition of the Starbucks business so we can refocus our resources on the development of our core business.

"Starbucks coffeehouses will remain part of our strategy to integrate attractive brands into the overall concept of Karstadt department stores," added Achenbach. "Despite giving up our financial interest in the operations, the original goal of creating strong market synergies will remain. I am confident Starbucks will have a great future in Germany."

KarstadtQuelle recently announced plans to restructure its business to increase attention on its core competencies such as the operation and expansion of department stores. Following its decision to refocus on its core business, Starbucks agreed to buy back the operations from KarstadtQuelle following its early success in the German market.

The joint venture between KarstadtQuelle AG and Starbucks Coffee International was established in the autumn of 2001 with 82 percent and 18 percent respective ownership. In May 2002, the first two Starbucks coffeehouses were opened in Berlin. Starbucks now operates 37 retail locations in 15 German cities.

"One of Starbucks strategic priorities is to increase the Company"s investment in key markets," said Julio Gutierrez, president of Starbucks Coffee Europe, Middle East and Africa. "This acquisition is in line with our expansion plans and it allows us greater influence over the brand in Germany as we continue to grow in this important market. Germany has the potential to be one of the biggest markets for us in Europe, and we are strongly committed to long-term growth.

"KarstadtQuelle has been a dedicated and professional partner in establishing Starbucks as one of the leading brands of specialty coffees in Germany in just over two years," continued Gutierrez. "We have a talented and seasoned team in place to optimize the long-term potential of our brand as we continue our expansion."

"We have successfully established a strong foundation for continued growth of the Starbucks business in Germany through our partners" (employees) exceptional commitment," said Cornelius Everke, managing director of Karstadt Coffee GmbH. "Our partners have done an outstanding job delivering the Starbucks Experience to our customers in Germany and we are very proud of their accomplishments.

"In two short years Starbucks has created 450 jobs in Germany, and we plan to provide increased employment opportunities as we continue to develop the business. We look forward to building on the strong momentum we have established in the German marketplace," continued Everke.

This cash purchase is expected to close by the end of November 2004. The specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Following the acquisition, the operating results for Germany will be included in Starbucks reported consolidated earnings. Starbucks does not expect this acquisition to impact its financial goals for fiscal 2005.

About KarstadtQuelle AG

KarstadtQuelle AG, based in Essen/Germany, is Europe"s largest department store and mail order group. The group achieved sales of EUR 15.3 billion in the business year 2003. The Group"s business activities comprise over-the-counter retail, mail order, services and real estate. The KarstadtQuelle Group has around 101,000 employees.

More information at www.karstadtquelle.com

About Starbucks

Starbucks Corporation is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 8,700 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. The Company is committed to offering the highest quality coffee and the Starbucks Experience while conducting its business in ways that produce social, environmental and economic benefits for communities in which it does business.

This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The statements regarding the Company"s international profitability, store count targets, retail and market expansion including China, India, Brazil and Russia are based on currently available operating, financial, and competitive information and is subject to various risks and uncertainties. Actual future results and trends may differ materially depending on a variety of factors including but not limited to, coffee, dairy and other raw material prices and availability, successful execution of internal performance and expansion plans, fluctuations in U.S. and international economies, ramifications from the war on terrorism, or other international events or developments, the impact of initiatives by competitors, the effect of legal proceedings, and other risks detailed in the Company"s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the "Certain Additional Risks and Uncertainties" section of Starbucks Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 28, 2003.

Starbucks Coffee International
Carole Pucik, 206-318-5538
KarstadtQuelle AG, +49 (0)201/727-96 63

Source: Starbucks Coffee International
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