Along with restaurateur Anton Pinskiy, Russian rap artist Timati will become a co-owner of Starbucks Russia, after the Seattle-based global coffee chain decided to pull out of the country, Forbes Russia reported on July 15.
Russian federal Senator Arsen Kanokov is reportedly set to become the third partner in the venture.
Forbes quoted Pinskiy as their source, although he declined to divulge further details of the deal, besides saying that he approached Starbucks with a buyout proposal back in March.
“Considering we’re closing the deal right now, I’d say we made the best proposal,” said Pinskiy.
Starbucks was looking for a buyer of its Russia business since March. New owners will be obliged to relinquish Starbucks branding for the business, and will be cut off from using Starbucks products and technologies.
Starbucks used to operate 130 locations across Russia, and first entered the market 15 years ago.
Timati is a faithful supporter of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. In 2015 he even released a song My Best Friend is President Putin.