December 1, 2023 9:37 am

McDonald’s is expanding its ownership in its China business by purchasing a stake from private equity giant Carlyle. The fast-food giant sold control of its restaurants in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau to Carlyle and Citic in 2017, with Citic taking the majority stake. Since then, McDonald’s has doubled its footprint in China to over 5,500 locations and aims to reach 10,000 by 2028. However, sales have struggled since the Covid pandemic began, accounting for only about 4% of the chain’s total revenue. On its latest earnings call, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski attributed the decline in sales to “slowing macroeconomic conditions and historically low consumer sentiment.” Despite these challenges, McDonald’s is continuing to invest in its Chinese market by increasing its minority share ownership from 20% to 48%. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it is expected to close in the first quarter of 2024 pending regulatory approval.

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