Restaurant Brands has ditched the Starbucks Coffee franchise in New Zealand, selling it for $4.4 million to a company called Tahua Capital. Restaurant Brands has owned the local rights to Starbucks for two decades, but a shrinking retail footprint and slowing sales have meant that it no longer aligns with the corporate direction of the company.

"Both Tahua and Starbucks share similar values about high-quality coffee, engaged employees and a passion to create positive change in the communities they serve. We are very positive about a bright future for Starbucks Coffee in New Zealand," Tahua's chief executive Charles Belcher said.

Tahua is owned by coffee shop operators Maestro Cafes and two investment firms. All existing Starbucks staff will be offered new contracts on the same terms.