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Costa Coffee to close all stores in Singapore

British café chain Costa Ltd. will close all of its stores in Singapore by Sept. 16, The Straits Times reported Sept. 6, citing a company spokesperson.

In the past 3.5 months, the chain has closed six of its eight locations. The last two stores in Holland Village and VivoCity will close Sept. 7 and Sept. 16, respectively.

A company spokesperson told the newspaper that the decision to close stores in Singapore was made at the start of the year. The company refused to comment further on the decision, the Times said.

Despite the announcement, Costa Coffee said it remains committed to staying in Southeast Asia and plans to grow its brand through franchising. The company added that it had been "extremely proactive" in support of its employees during this period.

In April, Costa's owner, Whitbread PLC, announced plans to demerge its coffee chain but said it could take up to a couple of years to do so.

However, in August, Whitbread agreed to sell the company to Coca-Cola Co. for £3.9 billion in a move that will significantly expand the beverage giant's existing coffee lineup.

The sale was the result of pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp., which urged Whitbread to sell either the Costa Coffee business or the Premier Inn hotel chain. Elliott disclosed in April its more than 6% stake in Whitbread.