Starbucks buys Chicago’s cat cafes for $1 billion

Starbucks, a coffee shop chain, has acquired Chicago’s Cat Coffee shops, Cat Coffee bars and other cafes and restaurants for $3.4 billion, the company announced Wednesday.

The deal brings Starbucks’ online coffee shop empire under one umbrella, allowing the chain to expand its coffee shop portfolio to include coffee, tea and other coffee services.

The deal includes the Chicago area Cat Coffee cafes, Cat Cafes in Chicago, Cat Brews and Cat Cafe in North Chicago, and Cat Coffee in Evanston, as well as a dozen other cafes across the U.S.

The chain also bought the Chicago-based Cat Coffee locations in the city’s Little Village and downtown.

Starbucks has been building out a portfolio of coffee stores, caf├ęs and restaurants in Chicago for nearly a decade.

The Starbucks deal follows a $1.9 billion purchase in October of the Chicago coffee chain’s Chicago-area Coffee House chain.

That deal valued Starbucks at $3 billion, including the purchase price of coffee and the company’s share of coffee operations.