UPDATE 4-Starbucks back on expansion path in Americas, China

Wed Dec 5, 2012 8:24pm EST
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* Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, Teavana buys in focus

* Plans 3,000 new Americas stores by 2017, over half in U.S.

* China to overtake Canada as No. 2 market in 2014

* Same-store sales in China/Asia Pacific remain robust in Oct, Nov

* Shares close down less than 1 percent

By Lisa Baertlein

NEW YORK, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp plans to increase the number of its cafes in the Americas by more than 20 percent by opening more than 3,000 new shops there in the next five years as it looks to rely on tea and juice as much as coffee, it said on Wednesday.

The world's largest coffee chain is also finished with acquisitions for now, after buying juice seller Evolution Fresh for $30 million and Bay Bread LLC's La Boulange Bakery for $100 million over the last 13 months. Starbucks also plans to close its $620 million purchase of tea store chain Teavana Holdings Inc by year-end.

The company also announced expansion plans for the China/Asia Pacific region for the next three years.   Continued...