McDonald’s Japan Plunges After Report U.S. Parent May Sell Stake

McDonald's Holdings Co. Japan Ltd. Reports Third-Quarter Earnings

A customer dines at a McDonald's restaurant in Tokyo. The stock plunged as much as 7.9 percent in Tokyo trading, the sharpest intraday drop since March 2011.

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
  • Parent seeks to sell up to 33% outstanding shares, Nikkei says
  • Company sees 38 billion yen loss in 2015 after food scandals

McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) fell the most in almost five years after the Nikkei newspaper reported its U.S. parent plans to cut its stake in the loss-making unit that’s struggling to recover from a series of food scandals.

McDonald’s Corp., the world’s largest restaurant chain and owner of about half of the Tokyo-based company, is seeking to sell 15 percent to 33 percent of the outstanding shares and an executive has met five or so potential buyers including trading houses and investment funds, Nikkei reported Tuesday without saying where it got the information from.

The stock plunged as much as 7.9 percent in Tokyo trading, the sharpest intraday drop since March 2011.The shares were down 4.4 percent at 2,814 yen as of 10:45 a.m. local time, while benchmark Topix index was little changed.

The parent company expects to gain about 100 billion yen ($825 million) from the sale and asked the potential buyers to respond by mid-January, according to the paper. Kokoro Toyama, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s in Japan, said the company can’t comment on the report.
 
The Japan unit has forecast a 38 billion yen loss in 2015 compared with a 21.8 billion yen loss a year ago, and will shut 131 stores this year as it struggled to win back customers after incidents such as a food supplier scandal in China, and when customers complained of foreign objects found in its food.

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