South Africa: Taste Holdings Sells Starbucks South Africa for a Song

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(file photo)
1 November 2019

Cape Town — JSE-listed Taste Holdings has announced that the 13 Starbucks coffee stores in South Africa will soon have a new owner, identified as company K2019548958.

The stores which were set up at a cost of at least U.S.$ 330 943,92 ( R5 million) each, will together be sold for U.S.$ 463 364,44 ( R7 million), according to Business Insider.

Taste Holdings, the owners of the South African licence for Starbucks and Domino's Pizza, went back to the drawing board earlier this year to avoid what CEO Dylan Pienaar described as  the mistakes of the initial roll-out, which included smaller stores and franchises in Cape Town. However the company said although it put its Starbucks and Domino's expansions on hold a year ago amid losses - it is one of a string of retail firms hurt by a troubled South African economy - the company said it reached the conclusion that it should change its strategic direction and exit the food business.

Taste Holdings is also in discussions on the sale of Domino's and its two other food businesses, restaurant chain Maxi's and The Fish & Chips Co, as part of a new strategy to become a solely luxury retail group. It said "it has become evident that capital investment required for the previous expansion strategy cannot be secured, given the current structure of the business and existing market conditions."

Adrian Maizey, a director at Taste Holdings, will be taking over the Starbucks South Africa business - as sole director of a company registered a day before the sale announcement.

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