Industry News | November 9, 2005

McDonald's investor wants assets spun off-report

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A major McDonald's Corp. shareholder has proposed that the chain sell about two-thirds of company-owned restaurants in an IPO to bolster its stock price, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

William Ackman, managing partner of hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, said in an interview Tuesday he had proposed recently that McDonald's sell about 65 percent of its interest in company-owned restaurants, Reuters news service reports.

Ackman, whose Pershing owns a 4.9-percent stake in McDonald's, said the company had rejected his proposal.

McDonald's owns about 37 percent of the land on which its 30,000-plus restaurants worldwide stand. It leases the rest.

Next week, Pershing will host a conference for several institutional and hedge-fund investors partly to discuss potential options for McDonald's real estate. After that, Ackman said Pershing will publicly present a revised proposal to McDonald's, the paper reported.

McDonald's has said it has no plans to "undertake a large-scale restructuring" by spinning off company-owned units or building a real-estate investment trust.