The Real Deal Miami

McDonald’s not lovin’ REIT spinoff

Fast food giant won't pursue move that could have saved up to $1B in taxes

November 11, 2015 10:30AM

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McDonald's NYC

McDonald’s in Times Square (inset: McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook)

From the New York websiteMcDonald’s will not pursue a spinoff of its real estate assets, the fast food giant said Tuesday – eschewing a move that could have slashed its tax bill by as much as $1 billion.

Many McDonald’s shareholders had hoped the company would form a real estate investment trust that would have spun off its estimated $40 billion in worldwide real estate holdings into a separate entity.

The move would have caused tension with McDonald’s franchise owners, however, who operate the fast food chain’s locations independently and were worried about losing control of those physical locations, according to CNN.

Roughly 80 percent of McDonald’s 36,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries are franchises. While the company said Tuesday that it would not pursue a REIT spinoff, CEO Steve Easterbrook told investors that the company wants to expand its number of franchise-operated restaurants to 95 percent. [CNN]Rey Mashayekhi