Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) is exploring a potential sale of its operations in the UK, according to an exclusive from The Times.
The coffee chain has asked Houlihan Lokey to gauge interest for the UK business, which includes more than 1,000 coffee shops (70% franchised, 30% company-run).
SBUX has faced increased competition in the UK from thousands of new independent operators, as well as Costa Coffee, Pret A Manger, and Tim Hortons. Rising costs in the area and a slow return of workers to the office in metro centers has also hurt the business.
The latest development with Starbucks add more intrigue to what should be a riveting conference call when the company reports earnings during the first week of August.
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