McDonald’s has sold its China and Hong Kong franchise to Citic Group and Carlyle Group, the companies announced Monday.
The $2.08 billion deal covers the fast food chain’s franchise rights for the next 20 years in mainland China and Hong Kong.
Of the three parties, state-owned Citic will have the controlling stake of 52 percent.
American investment firm Carlyle has 28 percent, and McDonald’s has the remaining 20 percent.
McDonald’s has over 2,600 outlets in China, and has said it plans to open a further 1,500 in the next five years, especially in smaller mainland cities.
McDonald’s has been on a march to refranchise many of its restaurants around the world, to get cash for upgrading, and lighten its burden of maintaining outlets.
In December, it sold its Singapore and Malaysia franchise to Saudi Arabia’s Lionhorn. It plans to become 95 percent franchised by 2018.