February 29, 2016 / 2:23 AM / in 2 years

Starbucks cafes to open in Italy in early 2017

A Starbucks logo is seen on an espresso machine in a store inside the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, United States, October 27, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O), the world’s biggest coffee chain, said on Sunday that Italian businessman Antonio Percassi would open the first Starbucks cafe in Milan in early 2017, bringing the brand to one of the top coffee-consuming nations in Europe.

Under the licensing arrangement, Percassi will own and operate the stores, the company said.

Starbucks was started by Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz after a business trip to Milan and Verona that gave him his vision for the chain, Starbucks said.

Italy has the seventh highest per capita coffee consumption in Europe, according to the European Coffee Federation.

The Percassi group is based in Bergam, near Milan, and owns cosmetics chain Kiko. It has a franchising deal in Italy with U.S. lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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