Saudi Arabia's Lionhorn Private Limited has bought the franchise rights for all the McDonald's restaurants in Singapore and Malaysia as part of its global expansion strategy.
Lionhorn, led by Sheikh Fahd and Abdulrahman Alireza, boasts more than 20 years of experience as the Developmental Licensee (DL) for the nearly 100 McDonald's restaurants in the Western and Southern regions of Saudi Arabia.
"This transaction marks another milestone in our company's ongoing efforts to identify strategic partners who share our values and vision to accelerate our growth and scale across diverse markets, drive innovation and place us closer to our customers and the communities we serve," remarked McDonald's president and chief executive Steve Easterbrook.
The new DL assumed ownership of the McDonald's business in Malaysia and Singapore on December 1, which includes a total of 390 restaurants, more than 80 per cent of which were company-owned.
Under the DL structure, McDonald's transferred its ownership interest in McDonald's Malaysia and Singapore and granted a license to the DL to run McDonald's restaurant operations in these markets.
The DL partner will provide the capital necessary to support and grow the business and will pay an initial franchise fee and an ongoing royalty to McDonald's.
One of the world's leading global foodservice retailers, McDonald's boasts over 36,000 locations in over 100 countries. Of these, more than 80 per cent of the restaurants are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.
Welcoming the takeover, Simone Hoyle, the head of McDonald's Asia Foundational Markets, said: "Sheik Fahd and Abdulrahman Alireza's experience in running great restaurants will create brand excitement for our customers and new opportunities for our people as these markets continue to grow and develop."
Leading the day-to-day management of the Malaysia and Singapore markets, respectively, will be local operating partners Azmir Jaafar and Kenneth Chan, both of whom previously held senior leadership positions at McDonald's and together possess over 40 years of experience.
This announcement follows a rigorous evaluation and selection process over the past year.
As part of its turnaround plan announced in May last year, McDonald's said it is committed to refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018 with the long-term goal of becoming 95 per cent franchised.
With this transaction, McDonald's has now refranchised approximately 1,300 restaurants, it added.
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