Wealth funds eye McDonald’s China investment


China is McDonald’s’ second-biggest market, with more than 5,500 restaurants and plans to expand to over 10,000 by 2028. — Bloomberg

BEIJING: Middle Eastern and Chinese sovereign wealth funds are considering investing in China McDonald’s business, according to people familiar with the matter.

Firms including Mubadala Investment Co, Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp are in talks to jointly invest in the fast-food chain’s China operations as minority shareholders, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information.

A Citic consortium, which owns 52% of the business mainly through Trustar Capital, has been considering options including transferring its holding in McDonald’s China to a new investment vehicle, the people said.

China is McDonald’s’ second-biggest market, with more than 5,500 restaurants and plans to expand to over 10,000 by 2028.

Slow progress in negotiations with Trustar reflect a growing sense of caution among investors about prospects for growth in the country, the people said.

Negotiations are ongoing and a potential agreement could be one or two months away, the people said.

Talks could also fall apart as valuation remains a key hurdle to a deal, they added.

Representatives for McDonald’s China and Trustar declined to comment. QIA and CIC didn’t respond to queries. — Bloomberg

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