The Wall Street Journal: McDonald’s China franchise deal could fetch up to $2 billion up front

McDonald’s Corp. Chief Executive Steve Easterbrook, aiming to slim down the Golden Arches and boost profits, has turned to the market where he can do something big, fast—China.

The Oak Brook, Ill., chain is looking to cut a deal to turn its 2,200-store empire in China—65% of which it owns and operates—into a cash machine. The franchising of its China operations, for which a partner could be determined before the end of the year, is expected to fetch between $1.5 billion and $2 billion up front from investors, people familiar with the matter said.

McDonald’s MCD, +0.50% would also rake in an estimated 5% to 7% of sales for the 20-year life of the deal.

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