Whitbread’s Costa to acquire 49% stake from Yueda in South China


UK-based hospitality company Whitbread has revealed that its coffee shop brand Costa will be acquiring a 49% stake from Yueda for £35m.

Yueda is Costa's joint venture (JV) partner in South China. The acquisition is reported to be in line with Whitbread’s strategy, which focuses on absorbing key opportunities in the global market.

The completion of the transaction is subject to the final government registration formalities and is expected to be completed in the near future.

Costa currently owns a 51% stake in the JV, which operates 252 stores in the south of China, including 93 stores in Shanghai.

"The completion of the transaction is subject to the final government registration formalities and is expected to be completed in the near future."

Whitbread CEO Alison Brittain said: “One of our three key strategic priorities is to focus on our strengths to grow internationally and today’s announcement marks a significant and exciting step in our ambitious growth plans for China.

“We have enjoyed an excellent partnership with Yueda over the past ten years together beginning to build the Costa brand in this key market.

“The coffee shop market in China is highly attractive, with a compelling opportunity for Costa to grow its presence over the longer term.

“This acquisition gives us full strategic and funding flexibility to unlock Costa’s potential in China, providing a strong platform to facilitate future growth, enhance the customer experience and make Costa the coffee shop of choice in this fast-growing market.”

In addition to JV partnership with Yueda, Costa operates 156 stores in the north of China with JV partner BHG.