McDonald’s Corporation Forms Strategic Partnership with Guy Hands for its Business in Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden

January 27, 2017

McDonald’s Corporation today announced that it has signed a share sale and purchase agreement and agreed on the Master Franchise Agreement with Guy Hands. Mr. Hands will become the Development Licensee (DL) for the Nordic markets.  

The deal is expected to close around the end of Q1 2017. 

The Nordic countries consist of approximately 435 restaurants, of which more than 95% are franchised, and is the clear number one QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) operator in the region. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Under the DL structure, McDonald’s plans to transfer its ownership interest in McDonald’s Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden and grant a license to the DL to develop and operate the McDonald’s restaurants in these markets.  The DL partner will provide the capital necessary to support and grow the business.

Ian Borden, President, McDonald’s Foundational Markets, said: 
“We look forward to welcoming Guy Hands as our strategic partner in the Nordics.  Based on his strong track record of developing successful businesses through focused management and active investment to drive growth, we’re confident that he is the right partner to build on the positive momentum McDonald’s is experiencing in these markets. This will mean more brand excitement for our Nordic customers and new opportunities for our franchisees and our people as these markets grow and develop.”

Guy Hands said: 
"This is an exciting opportunity to form a strong partnership with one of the world's leading global brands. I and my family look forward to working with the McDonald’s teams in place across the region.  We plan to leverage our industry knowledge and financial expertise, take a rigorous approach to insights and analysis and employ a hands-on approach to operational excellence to build on the strength of the brand with customers and create growth opportunities for franchisees, employees and staff.”
The deal is expected to further advance progress already being made in the Nordics to modernize restaurants, enhance digital consumer engagement and offer customers more personalized service. Each of these markets plans to accelerate its Experience of the Future concepts to better meet the needs of its local customers.  For example, Denmark will do so through extensive modernization of both its restaurants and operations, giving customers more flexibility and choice. And Sweden recently launched a mobile app to further enhance the Customer Experience Journey, simplifying the user experience both online and in-restaurant, and providing tailored promotions to its subscribers, with more evolution to come.

This announcement follows a rigorous evaluation and selection process over the past year. As part of its turnaround plan announced in May of 2015, McDonald’s committed to refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018 with the long-term goal of becoming 95 percent franchised.

About Guy Hands:
Guy Hands is the Chairman and Founder of Terra Firma Capital Partners Limited.
His wife, Julia Hands, is the Chairman and CEO of Hand Picked Hotels, an award winning chain of country house hotels based in the UK.
Julia and Guy intend to leverage their industry experience to further develop the McDonald’s brand in the Nordic markets.