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McDonald's rejects call by major shareholder to restructure

20 January 2006
McDonald's rejects call by major shareholder to restructure

Fast-food giant McDonald's has rejected calls from a major shareholder to sell off one-eighth of its restaurants.

William Ackman, founder of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, has called for the restructure because he believes the hamburger chain's own restaurants are under-performing.

He wants McDonald's to sell 1,000 of its 8,000 owned-restaurants in mature markets to franchisees, and to invest the money in building its presence in Asia, Russia and elsewhere.

Ackman also wants the fast food company to sell a 20% stake in its remaining owned stores to the public.

The new proposal is less drastic than Pershing's call last November for McDonald's to spin off 65% of its owned restaurants.

However, McDonald's insists that a public offer would not deliver the same value as its current strategy to improve sales of its owned stores, especially outside the US.

The company will reveal more details of its plans to boost performance with its annual results next Tuesday (24 January).

Last month, McDonald's revealed that global like-for-like sales grew by 5% in December and by 3.9% during 2005.

Europe showed the weakest rise, increasing like-for-like sales by 2.6% during the year.

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