Starbucks Coffee International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq:SBUX), has signed a joint-venture agreement with two leading retail companies in Madrid and Barcelona to enter the Spanish market.

Starbucks will joint venture with Grupo Vips, the leading Madrid-based restaurant and retail company, and Europastry, S.A., a Barcelona-based company which owns one of Europe’s largest bakery businesses, together with El Moli Vell, a top retail operator of cafes and pastry shops in the Barcelona area. The new joint venture, with operational support from majority shareholder Grupo Vips, will open the first retail store in Madrid in spring 2002.

“We are on schedule and on track with our expansion plans for continental Europe,” said Peter Maslen, president of Starbucks Coffee International. “Spain is our first Latin market, and represents an important landmark for Starbucks. In Spain, our partners are great retail operators, highly respected for delivering high quality products and superior customer service.”

Last Thursday, Starbucks and the KarstadtQuelle Group signed a joint venture agreement in Berlin, to open its first stores in Germany by spring 2002. Starbucks opened its first store in continental Europe in Zurich, Switzerland, in March this year, and has also announced plans to open its first store in Vienna, Austria, by the end of this year.

“Grupo Vips has over 30 years experience in restaurant and retail businesses, and this joint-venture is an important step in our growth strategy. We are delighted to become partners with such a world-class brand as Starbucks,” said Placido Arango Jr., president of Grupo Vips.

“We are very excited about introducing Starbucks into the Spanish market” commented David Garcia-Gassull, CEO of El Moli Vell. “We will strive to offer the highest quality products and service in the market.”

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Grupo Vips is the Spanish market leader in full service dining. The group operates several chains including the leading VIPS concept, (retail and restaurant), as well as Ginos, and Laene. The group also operates other international brands: T.G.I Fridays’, Bice (Madrid) and Itsu. It also owns and operates many other established restaurants, amongst which are the celebrated Teatriz and El Bodegon. Grupo Vips will be operating 150 outlets by the end of the year.

El Moli Vell is a top retail operator of over 170 cafes, bread and pastry shops in the Barcelona area. Handmade artisan breads and pastries are baked fresh everyday. Its origins, from 1863, are founded on expertise and skill in handcrafted bakery products.

Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 4,700 retail locations in North America, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim.

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