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McDonald's Japan plunges after report US parent may sell stake

Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 10:12
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McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) fell the most in almost five years after the Nikkei newspaper reported its US parent plans to cut its stake in the loss-making unit that's struggling to recover from a series of food scandals.

[TOKYO] McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) fell the most in almost five years after the Nikkei newspaper reported its US parent plans to cut its stake in the loss-making unit that's struggling to recover from a series of food scandals.

McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant chain and owner of about half of the Tokyo-based company, is seeking to sell 15 per cent to 33 per cent of the outstanding shares and an executive has met five or so potential buyers including trading houses and investment funds, Nikkei reported Tuesday without saying where it got the information from.

The stock plunged as much as 7.9 per cent in Tokyo trading, the sharpest intraday drop since March 2011.The shares were down 4.4 per cent at 2,814 yen as of 10:45 a.m. local time, while benchmark Topix index was little changed.

The parent company expects to gain about 100 billion yen (S$1.16 billion) from the sale and asked the potential buyers to respond by mid-January, according to the paper. Kokoro Toyama, a spokeswoman for McDonald's in Japan, said the company can't comment on the report.

The Japan unit has forecast a 38 billion yen loss in 2015 compared with a 21.8 billion yen loss a year ago, and will shut 131 stores this year as it struggled to win back customers after incidents such as a food supplier scandal in China, and when customers complained of foreign objects found in its food.

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