HONG KONG/SINGAPORE – McDonald's Corp is nearing a deal to sell 20-year franchise rights for its Singapore and Malaysia outlets to Saudi Arabia's Reza group, in a transaction estimated at up to $400 million, people familiar with the matter said.
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Reza Food Services Co. Ltd, which owns and operates McDonald's restaurants in the western and southern region of Saudi Arabia, has tapped Malaysian bank CIMB to finance the deal, said two of the sources, who declined to be identified as the deal has not been publicly announced.
CIMB declined to comment, while there was no immediate response from McDonald's. Reuters was not immediately able to reach Reza for a comment.
The deal was expected to be completed by the end of the year, one person familiar with the transaction said.
McDonald's has about 120 restaurants in Singapore and about 260 in Malaysia. The move is in line with the company's reorganization of its Asian operations, bringing in partners as it switches to a less capital-intensive franchise model.
(Reporting by Anshuman Daga in SINGAPORE and Carol Zhong and Chien Mi Wong of LPC in HONG KONG; Editing by Alex Richardson)