Starbucks Korea is mulling a move of its headquarters, leaving the current offices at a Shinsegae Group building, industry sources said on Oct. 14.
Starbucks Korea, which has more than 1,260 outlets in Korea, is reviewing a plan to move to State Tower Namsan, owned by Mirae Asset Global Investments, as it seeks more space. The coffee chain has been occupying an area at Westin Chosun Hotel, owned by retail giant Shinsegae Group, since 2005 when Starbucks Korea had slightly more than 100 stores.
Starbucks International and E-mart, a Shinsegae subsidiary, created a 50-50 joint venture in 1999.
But the rumored move has reignited the speculation that the two companies could end their partnership when the contract expires at the end of 2020.
State Tower Namsan
Earlier this year, media reported that Starbucks International dropped the idea of selling management rights to a private equity fund after receiving offers from several conglomerates and firms. An official at Shinsegae Group downplayed the possibility, saying, “We’ve never considered selling our stake.”
Mirae Asset Global Investments bought State Tower Namsan from Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and CBRE Global Investors for 588.6 billion won ($497 million) in April this year. Starbucks Korea is expected to use two floors of the 24-story building, the sources said.
By Park Ga-young (firstname.lastname@example.org)