Cheese­burg­ers to go?

McDon­ald’s plan­ning to sell its Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore fran­chises

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By BLOOMBERG

McDon­ald’s Corp is plan­ning a sale of 20-year fran­chise rights in Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore that could col­lec­tively fetch at least $400 mil­lion, peo­ple with knowl­edge of the mat­ter said.

Suit­ors for the fast-food op­er­a­tions in the two South­east Asian mar­kets have be­gun sound­ing out banks for fi­nanc­ing, said the peo­ple, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied be­cause the in­for­ma­tion is pri­vate. A po­ten­tial bid­der is in talks with lenders for as much as $300 mil­lion in fund­ing.

McDon­ald’s is seek­ing lo­cal fran­chise part­ners to run its restau­rants in Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore as it pur­sues an in­ter­na­tional turn­around plan put in place af­ter Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Steve Easter­brook took over last year. The Big Mac maker, which has a $112 bil­lion mar­ket value, is re­vamp­ing its own­er­ship mod­els through­out Asia, in­clud­ing plans to sell op­er­a­tions in the Chi­nese main­land, Hong Kong and South Korea.

McDon­ald’s has adopted a “de­vel­op­ment li­censee model” for the two mar­kets, a Sin­ga­pore-based spokes­woman for the com­pany said in an e-mailed re­sponse.

It is ne­go­ti­at­ing with can­di­dates “which are com­mit­ted to help­ing ac­cel­er­ate growth and in­no­va­tion in Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore”, she said.

Un­like in its other ma­jor mar­kets — in­clud­ing the United States — most McDon­ald’s out­lets in­Asia are com­pany-owned. The chain aims even­tu­ally to have 95 per­cent of its restau­rants in the re­gion un­der lo­cal own­er­ship, it said in­March.

McDon­ald’s cur­rently has more than 120 restau­rants with around 9,000 employees in Sin­ga­pore, ac­cord­ing to its lo­cal web­site. In Malaysia, the chain runs more than 250 restau­rants.

JIANG DONG / CHINA DAILY

A McDon­ald’s em­ployee in Bei­jing demon­strates how to or­der food on a big screen.

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