Bidding disappoints McDonald’s Corporation

McDonald’s Corporation says it is struggling to attract the calibre of bidders it envisioned when it put its China and Hong Kong franchise up for tender.

The restaurant group is offering a 20-year master franchisees for its markets in China, Hong Kong and South Korea. Bidding has gone into its second round and predictions are the deal could be worth US$2 billion to $3 billion.

Conditions include McDonald’s keeping management intact for two years, with a limitation on taking the franchise public. Other restrictions have reportedly discouraged many private-equity firms from participating in the bidding.

Global buyout firms such as Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and TPG Capital have put up their hands with the aim of teaming up with some of the Chinese strategic bidders.

Bidders asked to submit for the second round of the tender include dairy company Beijing Sanyuan Foods, Beijing Tourism Group, ChemChina, state-owned China Cinda Asset Management and Sanpower.

McDonald’s share price has surged more than 23 per cent since CEO Steve Easterbrook launched a turnaround effort. The plan for Asia comprises one or more local partners taking over the China and Hong Kong franchise of 2800 stores for 20 years while paying royalties to the corporation.

However, many investors are anxious following the food scandal that hit McDonald’s sales in 2014, reports BFN.

Meanwhile, McDonald’s last year announced plans to sell its business in Taiwan plus a substantial ownership stake in Japan, but as yet investors have yet to be secured. “We are making solid progress as we look for long-term strategic partners with local relevance who have complementary skills and expertise,” says a company spokesperson.


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