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Starbucks signs coffee house deal

Starbucks enters Switzerland

The American coffee company, Starbucks, has announced its entry into continental Europe by teaming up with one of Switzerland's leading catering companies.

Starbucks Coffee International and Passaggio Holding Limited have signed a joint venture agreement to develop retail stores in Switzerland.

The joint venture company, Swiss-Star Limited, plans to open Starbucks retail locations in Zurich by early next year. Switzerland represents Starbucks 20th international market.

“Switzerland serves as an excellent entry point for Starbucks into continental Europe,” said Peter Maslen, president of Starbucks Coffee International. “Our joint venture with Passaggio Holding Limited is a significant step towards our planned expansion.”

Starbucks plans to open stores in at least six European markets in the next 12 to 24 months and has previously announced a target of opening 500 stores in Europe by the end of 2003. The company opened a store in London in 1998.

Passaggio Holding Limited is part of the Bon appétit Group, Switzerland’s leading listed company in the food trade. Passaggio has a majority share in the new venture.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR