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

Starbucks Corp. is maintaining a coffee sourcing memorandum of understanding it has with India’s Tata Coffee Ltd. 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.

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