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McDonald's finds a buyer for Russian restaurants

Russia Ukraine War McDonalds
Posted at 9:38 AM, May 19, 2022

McDonald’s said Thursday it has begun the process of selling its Russian business to one of its licensees in the country.

The Chicago burger giant said Alexander Govor, who operates 25 restaurants in Siberia, has agreed to buy McDonald’s 850 Russian restaurants and operate them under a new brand.

McDonald’s didn’t disclose the sale price. McDonald’s announced Monday that it was pulling out of the Russian market after more than 30 years because of the war in Ukraine.

The sale agreement is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close within a few weeks, McDonald’s said.

McDonald's had temporarily closed its stores in Russia but was still paying employees. On Monday, it said it would seek to have a Russian buyer hire its employees and pay them until the sale closes. It didn't identify a prospective buyer.

McDonald’s said it plans to start removing golden arches and other symbols and signs with its name.

"We have a long history of establishing deep, local roots wherever the Arches shine," McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a statement. "We're exceptionally proud of the 62,000 employees who work in our restaurants, along with the hundreds of Russian suppliers who support our business, and our local franchisees. Their dedication and loyalty to McDonald's make today's announcement extremely difficult.

"However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there."

McDonald's said it still expects to grow by 1.5% locations worldwide in 2022 despite the closures with a net gain of 1,300 restaurants.