Starbucks Ordered to Pay $2.76 Billion to Settle Legal Fight
Starbucks (SBUX) has been ordered by an arbiter to pay $2.76 billion to Mondelez International, Inc. to settle its bagged-coffee business brouhaha. The payout consists of $2.23 billion in damages and $427 million in interest and attorneys’ fees. The Seattle-based coffee kingpin’s management team said it has enough cash on hand — and enough borrowing potential — to record that judgment as an operating expense for 2013. The court case began three years ago, when Starbucks offered to pay Mondelez (then known as Kraft Foods, Inc.) more than $750 million to terminate a coffee-selling agreement. Fast forward three years, and while Starbucks said it “doesn’t agree” with the decision, it seems ready to move on. Surely investors are ready to move on, as Starbucks continues its attempt to dominant the coffee-consuming market and tantalize tea drinkers, too.