High street coffee chain Costa now has full ownership of its south China business, after buying out its partner in the region, Yueda.
Costa previously held 51 per cent of a joint venture in the region. Today the firm announced it had bought the remaining 49 per cent for 310m renminbi (£35.7m), meaning it now owns the entire business, which operates 252 stores in the south of China.
Alison Brittain, chief executive of Costa's parent company, Whitbread, said the deal was part of the group's plans to expand overseas.
"One of our three key strategic priorities is to focus on our strengths to grow internationally and today's announcement marks a significant and exciting step in our ambitious growth plans for China," she said.
"We have enjoyed an excellent partnership with Yueda over the past ten years together beginning to build the Costa brand in this key market.
"The coffee shop market in China is highly attractive, with a compelling opportunity for Costa to grow its presence over the longer term. This acquisition gives us full strategic and funding flexibility to unlock Costa's potential in China, providing a strong platform to facilitate future growth, enhance the customer experience and make Costa the coffee shop of choice in this fast-growing market."
Brittain added: "We remain fully committed to our strong partnership with BHG in Northern China and look forward to building our business with them in the years ahead."