McDonald's to sell Nordic restaurants

by Erica Shaffer
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 McDonalds
Guy Hands, chairman and founder of British equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners, will own 435 locations.
 

OAK BROOK, Ill. – McDonald’s Corp. recently announced an agreement for the share sale and purchase for the burger chain’s Nordic restaurants to Guy Hands, chairman and founder of British equity firm Terra Firma Capital Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under a developmental licensee structure, McDonald’s will transfer its ownership interest in restaurants in Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden.  The Nordic business includes approximately 435 restaurants, of which more than 95 percent are franchised. The deal is expected to close by the end of Q1 2017.

“This is an exciting opportunity to form a strong partnership with one of the world's leading global brands,” Hands said in a statement. “I and my family look forward to working with the McDonald’s teams in place across the region.  We plan to leverage our industry knowledge and financial expertise, take a rigorous approach to insights and analysis and employ a hands-on approach to operational excellence to build on the strength of the brand with customers and create growth opportunities for franchisees, employees and staff.”

McDonald’s said the transaction will continue to drive progress already being made in the Nordics to modernize restaurants, enhance customers’ digital engagement and deliver more personalized service.  McDonald’s in Denmark will undergo an extensive modernization of restaurants and operations. Stores in Sweden recently launched a mobile app that provides customized promotions to subscribers.

“We look forward to welcoming Guy Hands as our strategic partner in the Nordics,” Ian Borden, president, McDonald’s Foundational Markets, said in a statement. “Based on his strong track record of developing successful businesses through focused management and active investment to drive growth, we’re confident that he is the right partner to build on the positive momentum McDonald’s is experiencing in these markets. This will mean more brand excitement for our Nordic customers and new opportunities for our franchisees and our people as these markets grow and develop.”

This announcement comes after McDonald’s announced CITIC Ltd; CITIC Capital Holdings and The Carlyle Group agreed to acquire the chain’s mainland China and Hong Kong business for approximately $2.08 billion.

The transactions are part of McDonald’s turnaround plan that was established in May 2015 in which the company committed to refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018. The company has set a long-term goal of becoming 95 percent franchised.

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