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Starbucks says it's not in formal sale process for UK business

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(Reuters) -Starbucks Corp is not in a formal sale process for its UK business, a company spokesperson said in a statement after The Times reported earlier on Saturday that the coffee chain is exploring a sale of the UK operations.

According to the Times report, Starbucks has not initiated a "formal sales process" of its UK business and continues to "evaluate strategic options" for its company-owned international operations.

The company faces rising costs and competition from rivals like Pret A Manger, Tim Hortons and Costa, the newspaper said.

Starbucks suspended its guidance for the remainder of the fiscal year when it last reported quarterly earnings in May as sales growth missed Wall Street targets due to China's tough COVID-19 curbs.

Starbucks, which has been dealing with recent unionization efforts of its U.S. workforce, is looking for a permanent CEO while Howard Schultz would remain interim CEO until the end of March.

(Reporting by Shivani Tanna in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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