Kraft Foods Inc. asked a court on Monday to prevent Starbucks Corp. from taking steps to severing a distribution deal between the two companies, escalating efforts to force the coffee giant to pay for ending the 12-year partnership.
Starbucks is attempting to end the deal it has with Kraft to ship Starbucks bagged coffee to supermarket and other retailers so that the coffee giant can bring the distribution business in house.
Kraft says that Starbucks is violating the contract by trying to end the deal without paying to do so. In a court filing Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Kraft said it had in August rejected a $750 million buyout offer from Starbucks because the payout was “far less than the fair market value of the business.”
The food company said Starbucks then “suddenly changed course” and alleged that Kraft had breached certain terms of the agreement, which would preclude Starbucks from having to pay Kraft to end the deal.
Kraft wants the court to rule that the contract remains in effect.
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