Starbucks Ending Agreement with Kraft?

November 5/Seattle, Chicago/Associated Press -- Coffee company Starbucks Corp revealed it is planning to end its distribution agreement with U.S.-based food group Kraft Foods Inc. covering the sale of packaged coffee.

Starbucks said that the details and timing of any transition will be subject to discussions between the two companies.

Kraft responded to this announcement by stating that the existing agreement is perpetual and that, if Starbucks decides to exit the relationship, "the agreement requires Starbucks to pay Kraft Foods the fair market value of the business plus, in certain instances, a premium."

In response to this statement from Kraft, Starbucks said it believed that Kraft had "mischaracterized the nature of the agreement" and noted that the agreement includes a mechanism for resolving disputes.

Both companies added that they intend to keep their discussions private.

From the November 15, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition