Coke Stirs Up Coffee Biz

Coca-Cola is paying US$5.1 billion for the nearly 4,000-unit coffee chain Costa.

The purchase of Costa’s from Britain's Whitbread thrusts Coca-Cola into the booming global coffee market. Expanding Costa shops into the U.S. would compete with Starbucks, McDonalds and JAB, which owns a string of chains including Peet's and Caribou.

Operating a retail chain is a new undertaking for Coca-Cola, but Costa's boasts a retail footprint, roastery, supply chain and Costa Express vending system, which the company plans to expand.

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