Starbucks Corp., the world's biggest coffee-shop chain, said Sunday that Italian businessman Antonio Percassi would open the first Starbucks cafe in Milan in early 2017, bringing the brand to one of the top coffee-consuming nations in Europe.

Under the licensing arrangement, Percassi will own and operate the stores, the company said.

Starbucks was started by Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz after a business trip to Milan and Verona that gave him his vision for the chain, Starbucks said.

Italy has the seventh-highest per capita coffee consumption in Europe, according to the European Coffee Federation.

The Percassi group is based in Bergam, near Milan, and owns cosmetics chain Kiko. It has a franchising deal in Italy with U.S. lingerie chain Victoria's Secret.

Financial terms were not disclosed.