McDonald's sells Singapore, Malaysian franchise to Saudi group

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picture credit: Walter Lim Flickr

McDonald’s Corporation today announced it has selected Saudi Arabia’s Lionhorn Pte Ltd as the Developmental Licensee (DL) for its Malaysia and Singapore markets. Lionhorn is led by Sheik Fahd and Abdulrahman Alireza.

“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,” said McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook.

The new DL assumed ownership of the McDonald’s business in Malaysia and Singapore on December 1, 2016, which includes a total of 390 restaurants, more than 80% of which were Company-owned. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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.

“We are pleased to welcome Sheik Fahd as the Developmental Licensee for our business in Malaysia and Singapore,” said Simone Hoyle, Head of McDonald’s Asia Foundational Markets. “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.

McDonald’s said that this announcement follows a rigorous evaluation and selection process over the past year. As part of its turnaround plan announced in May of 2015, McDonald’s committed to refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018 with the long-term goal of becoming 95 percent franchised. With this transaction, McDonald’s has now refranchised approximately 1,300 restaurants.