Starbucks to Expand in India

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NEW DELHI — Starbucks Corp. is likely to finalize a deal with Tata Coffee Ltd. to bring Starbucks stores to India by the end of 2012.

“Final formalities are being completed and we are on the verge of signing the agreement,” Hameed Huq, managing director of Tata Coffee, told reporters as quoted by WSJ.

“We believe India can be an important source for coffee in the domestic market, as well as across the many regions globally where Starbucks has operations,”  said Starbucks Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz in the statement as quoted by Bloomberg.com.

According to WSJ, a deal between the two companies has been in the works for more than a year and comes at a time when consumption of specialty coffees is on the rise in the country among the growing middle class. Starbucks outlets in India are likely to be located in retail stores and hotels. Tata Coffee is one of India’s top coffee exporters.

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