Starbucks ‘Moving Forward’ With Tata Deal After India Rule Shift

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) is maintaining a coffee sourcing memorandum of understanding it has with India’s Tata Coffee Ltd. (TCO) after India’s government formally removed the limit on foreign investment in single-brand retail.

“We are moving forward with MOU discussions and planning, and hope to make an announcement soon,” John Culver, president of the company’s international division, said in an e-mailed statement. “We are excited about the great opportunities that India presents to Starbucks.”

India abandoned a rule against foreign single-brand retailers operating stores without a local partner, paving the way for global companies including Starbucks and Ikea.

The government ratified a Nov. 24 cabinet decision to raise the ownership limit to 100 percent from 51 percent for single- brand. The new rules take effect immediately and require the companies to use smaller Indian companies for at least 30 percent of procurement, Trade Minister Anand Sharma said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dave McCombs in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dave McCombs at

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