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McDonald's to Set up Largest Franchisee in China

Fast food giant McDonald's announced January 9 it would partner with a group of investors, which would make the new company the largest franchisee outside of America.

CITIC Limited, CITIC Capital, the Carlyle Group and McDonald's formed a strategic partnership and set up a new company as the master franchisee responsible for McDonald's businesses on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong for a term of 20 years, according to a press release.

The new company will acquire McDonald's businesses on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, with CITIC and CITIC Captial holding the controlling stake in the new entity, according to the statement.

It is expected that the new company will increase restaurant openings, particularly in third- and fourth-tier cities, and improve menu and retail offerings.

The plan is to open over 1,500 restaurants on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong over the next five years.

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald's CEO, said the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong was an enormous opportunity.

McDonald's in May 2015 decided to re-franchise 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018, with the long-term goal of becoming 95-percent franchised. The company had over 2,400 restaurants on the Chinese mainland and more than 240 in Hong Kong by the end of 2016.

(Xinhua News Agency January 9, 2017)

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