Dunkin' Brands Expanding in Australia

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The march of Dunkin' Brands  (NASDAQ: DNKN  )   toward world domination continues. In recent weeks, the company has announced plans to invade the Vietnamese market, expand operations in California, and, most recently, to brave the flood zone and tackle the donut business in New Orleans.

Today, Dunkin' reminded folks that it's not all about donuts and coffee -- Dunkin' owns the Baskin Robbins brand, too. So, on Thursday, the company confirmed a plan to "greatly expand the brand's presence in Australia," entering into a master franchise joint venture with local ice cream company Galadari Brothers, through which the companies plan to set up 200 new Baskin-Robbins ice cream shops across Australia over the next 10 years.

In so doing, Dunkin' will more than triple the size of its current 80-store base down under, while taking on few additional responsibilities itself. The company says it will need to contribute $2 million for marketing costs over the next three years, but disclosed no other costs of the joint venture.

Dunkin' plans to take a 20% stake in the JV. Galadari will hold a majority stake, and be "primarily responsible for day-to-day operations for the brand in Australia."

Dunkin' Brands shares closed down slightly despite the news Thursday, ending at $38.07.

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