McDonald's exploring sale of stake in Japanese arm: Nikkei

Pedestrians walk by a McDonald's location in New York.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Pedestrians walk by a McDonald's location in New York.

McDonald's is reaching out to investors about selling a part of the fast-food company's stake in its Japanese arm for about 100 billion yen ($826.2 million), the Nikkei business daily reported, without citing sources.

A McDonald's executive recently traveled to Japan to talk with five or so potential buyers, including trading houses and investment funds, about selling 15-33 percent of McDonald's (Japan) outstanding shares, the newspaper said.

McDonald's, which owns nearly half of the Japanese unit, has asked potential buyers to respond by mid-January, and the top candidate will likely be granted the right of first refusal, Nikkei said.

McDonald's was not immediately available to comment.

McDonald's Japanese unit slid deep into losses in the first six months of the year, as customers stayed away after a string of safety scandals and the fast-food chain booked store closure and other restructuring costs, and forecast a full-year loss of 38 billion yen.

Sales have been hit since a major Chinese supplier of chicken was found using expired meat last year. The business ran into problems again in January when some customers found foreign objects, including a tooth, in its food.

McDonald's Japanese unit was valued at $3.23 billion as of Monday's close.

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