OAK BROOK, IL - (Marketwired - Dec 2, 2016) - McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) today announced it has selected Lionhorn Pte. Ltd. as the Developmental Licensee (DL) for its Malaysia and Singapore markets. Lionhorn is led by Sheik Fahd and Abdulrahman Alireza, who bring 20 years of experience as the DL for the nearly 100 McDonald's restaurants in the Western and Southern regions of Saudi Arabia.
"This transaction marks another milestone in our Company's ongoing efforts to identify strategic partners who share our values and vision to accelerate our growth and scale across diverse markets, drive innovation and place us closer to our customers and the communities we serve," said McDonald's President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Easterbrook.
The new DL assumed ownership of the McDonald's business in Malaysia and Singapore on December 1, 2016, which includes a total of 390 restaurants, more than 80% of which were Company-owned. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Under the DL structure, McDonald's transferred its ownership interest in McDonald's Malaysia and Singapore and granted a license to the DL to run McDonald's restaurant operations in these markets. The DL partner will provide the capital necessary to support and grow the business and will pay an initial franchise fee and an ongoing royalty to McDonald's.
"We are pleased to welcome Sheik Fahd as the Developmental Licensee for our business in Malaysia and Singapore," said Simone Hoyle, Head of McDonald's Asia Foundational Markets. "Sheik Fahd and Abdulrahman Alireza's experience in running great restaurants will create brand excitement for our customers and new opportunities for our people as these markets continue to grow and develop."
Leading the day-to-day management of the Malaysia and Singapore markets, respectively, will be local operating partners Azmir Jaafar and Kenneth Chan, both of whom previously held senior leadership positions at McDonald's and together possess over 40 years of experience.
This announcement follows a rigorous evaluation and selection process over the past year. As part of its turnaround plan announced in May of 2015, McDonald's committed to refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018 with the long-term goal of becoming 95 percent franchised. With this transaction, McDonald's has now refranchised approximately 1,300 restaurants.
McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with over 36,000 locations in over 100 countries. More than 80% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business men and women.
McDonald's has successfully utilized the DL ownership structure for more than 30 years in regions throughout the world including more than 70 individual countries with a portfolio of approximately 5,500 restaurants.
Sheik Fahd and Abdulrahman Alireza serve as McDonald's Developmental Licensees in the Western and Southern regions of Saudi Arabia, with nearly 100 restaurants. In their capacity as the McDonald's DLs, Sheik Fahd and Abdulrahman Alireza were awarded the Golden Arch Award in 2001, the highest recognition for a McDonald's franchisee in the organization. Abdulrahman currently serves as General Manager of the McDonald's business in Saudi Arabia.
Kenneth Chan will join the Lionhorn DL organization as the operating partner for Singapore/Malaysia and Managing Director (MD) of Singapore. Prior to this, Kenneth served as Division President of China & Greater Asia as well as CEO of Greater China and MD of Singapore with oversight to Malaysia, Korea and Taiwan. His extensive knowledge of both markets and of the McDonald's system will enable him to drive strong growth for the new DL.
Azmir Jaafar will join the Lionhorn DL organization as operating partner for Malaysia and will continue in his current role as the market's MD. Previously, Azmir held other significant roles including Chief Development Officer of McDonald's China and MD of the Company's Middle East markets. Since his recent return to Malaysia, Azmir has successfully led a turnaround in the business with locally relevant, customer-focused strategies.