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Starbucks to exit Russia after nearly 15 years

Kitco News

May 23 (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) said on Monday it will exit the Russian market after nearly 15 years as the coffee chain joins McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) in marking the end of the presence of some of the top Western brands in the country.

McDonald's last week said it was selling its restaurants in Russia to its local licensee Alexander Govor to be rebranded under a new name, but will retain its trademarks.

Seattle-based Starbucks has 130 stores in Russia, wholly owned and operated by its licensee Alshaya Group, with nearly 2,000 employees in the country.

Starbucks did not provide details on the financial impact of the exit. McDonald's had said it would take a primarily non-cash charge of up to $1.4 billion.

Early in March, Starbucks shuttered its stores and suspended all business activity in Russia including the shipment of its products to the country following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.

Starbucks, which opened its first outlet in Russia in 2007, said it will continue to support its employees there, including paying them for six months.

Russian media outlet Sota Vision reported earlier in the day, citing a source, that Starbucks is closing down its Russian legal entity.

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