Brazilian restaurant chain operator Zamp is poised to take over the operations of Starbucks in Brazil, following a $22.7m (120m reais) agreement with SouthRock, the current rights holder, Reuters has reported.

Zamp, backed by Abu Dhabi’s state investor Mubadala, is expanding its portfolio in Latin America’s largest economy, where it already manages Burger King and Popeyes outlets.

The transaction, which involves an undisclosed number of Starbucks stores, is subject to a competitive bidding process due to SouthRock’s ongoing bankruptcy protection.

Zamp has the option to match higher offers that may emerge. The deal’s completion hinges on the approval from Brazil’s antitrust body CADE and the court managing SouthRock’s bankruptcy case.

The acquisition is seen as a strategic move for Zamp, which disclosed its plans for the Starbucks deal in February 2024.

The company has confirmed that while the exact number of Starbucks stores to be acquired is not yet determined, the agreement necessitates a final arrangement with Starbucks Corporation.

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Starbucks has also acknowledged ongoing discussions with Zamp for the direct oversight of its Brazilian cafés.

SouthRock, which has held the rights to Starbucks in Brazil since a 2018 agreement, has also verified the deal.

The company remains focused on its court-supervised reorganisation to restructure and revitalise its operations.

Starbucks Corporation had fully licensed its stores in Latin America and the Caribbean to SouthRock, a move upon which Zamp is now set to capitalise, subject to the successful conclusion of the current negotiations and regulatory consent.