Someone's Not Lovin' It, No Buyers for McDonald's Korea

Someone's Not Lovin' It, No Buyers for McDonald's Korea

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) -- U.S. fast food giant McDonald's is having difficulties finding a buyer of its Korean unit as Maeil Dairies Industry Co., the last remaining bidder, has dropped its bid, according to industry officials Friday.

McDonald's, which directly manages about 400 stores in South Korea, has been looking for local partners to run them as franchise stores that pay annual commissions instead.

The deal initially drew interests from several investors, including CJ and NHN Entertainment, but they have nixed their plans.'

Most recently, Maeil Dairies, which formed a consortium with U.S. equity fund Carlyle Group, pulled out of its bid after they failed to agree on terms of contract, industry sources familiar with the matter said.

"We can't verify the specific details as McDonald's headquarters office is in charge of the bidding process, but the sales process is still under way," an official at McDonald's Korean unit said, without elaborating on the deal.

In March, McDonald's announced its plan to reorganize operations in Asia, pushing for sales of restaurants in China, Hong Kong and South Korea to local partners. Carlyle Group has been seeking to buy McDonald's restaurants in China and Hong Kong.

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