McDonald's is reportedly close to selling the franchise for its stores in China and Hong Kong in a deal worth an estimated $2 billion.
According to The Wall Street Journal, McDonald's has chosen private-equity firm The Carlyle Group and Beijing-based CITIC Group as buyers. Originally a price tag of $3 billion had been quoted, however the new lower price is due to McDonald's maintaining a 20 per cent stake in the Chinese franchise.
McDonald's has around 2,400 fast-food outlets in China and is expecting to open 250 new stores per year, reports The Irish Examiner. The proposed sale is part of McDonald's CEO Stephen Easterbrook's goal of having a large number of its restaurants being operated by franchisees.
The Chinese market has been a notoriously difficult one for American fast-food outlets to get traction in but having one of China's oldest financial services company's to help crack the local market could be key in getting consumers 'lovin' McDonald's there.