Coffee giant Starbucks is mulling a possible sale of its UK operations against a backdrop of tough macroeconomic conditions.
The global coffee titan had requested adviser and investment bank Houlihan Lokey to scout for interest in its UK arm, according to a report in The Sunday Times.
Some 300 stores within Starbucks’ 1,000-shop strong UK estate are managed by the chain itself while the others are owned and managed by franchisees who have to pay royalties to the US firm.
According to the newspaper, Starbucks said it had not launched a formal sales process for the UK business.
However, the Seattle-based firm said it was continuing to “evaluate strategic options” for its company-owned international operations.
High street staples are struggling amid hiked energy and labour costs while the coffee market in particular has become saturated with competitors in recent years.
Starbucks’ UK operations posted sales of £328m for the year to October 2021. This was an uplift of 35 per cent on the prior year when Covid restrictions saw a slew of store closures.