McDonald's seeks bids for 33% stake in its Japan operations

McDonald's Corp is inviting bids for the sale of a 33 per cent stake in its Japanese outfit McDonald's Holdings Co Japan Ltd, the Wall Street Journal yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

The move comes just a week after McDonald's agreed to sell its China and Hong Kong business to US private equity firm Carlyle Group and China state-backed conglomerate Citic Ltd for $2.08 billion. (See: Carlyle, Citic to buy majority stake in McDonald's China/HK businesses for $2.08 bn)

In March 2016, McDonald's had said that it was reorganising its Asian operations by bringing in partners who would own the restaurants within a franchise business by refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018.

It had hired Morgan Stanley to assist in the sale of bulk of its restaurants in China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan.

McDonald's, based in Illinois, owns just under 50 per cent of the Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed unit, which has 2,956 restaurants and has a market cap of around $3.5 billion.

Several private-equity firms are considering bids, the report said.