McDonald’s Corp., the world’s top fast-food restaurant operator, is seeking to sell its South Korean business, heating up the mergers and acquisitions market in the local burger industry.
Domestic investment banking industry sources have mixed views on the sale as some see the stagnant burger sector in the country as reducing interest in the operation, while others say the local fast food business remained attractive, given the increasing number of single-person households and rising demand for post-COVID-19 dining-out.
McDonald’s headquarters has named Mirae Asset Securities Co. as an advisor to find a partner to take over the South Korean operation, in which the fast-food giant holds a 100 percent stake, according to local IB industry sources on Thursday.
Outside US markets, McDonald’s has been selecting domestic companies, so-called development licensees (DLs), to manage operations there and receive royalties from them since 2006.
In the South Korean operation, it had negotiations with a consortium of The Carlyle Group, a US private equity giant, and Maeil Dairies Co., a local dairy player, in 2016, but the talks failed.
Carlyle acquired McDonald’s businesses in China and Hong Kong, which were put up for sale along with the South Korean operation, in another consortium with Citic Group on the mainland.