McDonald's to sell Singapore, Malaysia business to Saudi Arabian group for $400 mln
McDonald's to sell Singapore, Malaysia business to Saudi Arabian group for $400 mln Reuters

McDonald's has reportedly sealed a deal under which as many as 120 fast-food restaurants in Singapore will be sold to Saudi Arabia's Reza group.

The US restaurant chain has agreed a $400 million deal with Reza Food Services Co. Ltd, which will also see the transfer of about 260 outlets in Malaysia, Reuters reported, citing sources.

McDonald's had said in July it was looking for franchise partners for its restaurants in Singapore and Malaysia, as part of its strategy to move to a less capital-intensive franchise model in Asia.

A Bloomberg report said McDonald's is in the process of extensive operational revamp in Asia, and that plans are afoot to sell operations in China, Hong Kong and South Korea as well.

A US-based spokeswoman of McDonald's refused to comment on the latest development, the agency reported. But the official confirmed that the company is in the process of tying up with long-term partners to grow its business in Malaysia and Singapore.

"As this process is ongoing, it's not appropriate to comment further at this time," the spokesperson said.

Reza Food Services owns and operates McDonald's restaurants in the western and southern region of Saudi Arabia and is one of the oldest trading families in the country.

Reuters added that the Saudi group is in funding talks with Malaysia's CIMB for concluding the deal. CIMB declined to comment.

McDonald's, valued at $97 billion, has followed a policy of owning and operating restaurants in Asia so far. The company said in March it was rolling out a strategy under which about 95 percent of its Asian outlets will be eventually under local ownership.