McDonald’s is selling its restaurants in Russia to one of its current local licensees, who will rebrand them under a new name, the fast-food company announced.
Restaurants will be sold to Alexander Govor, who runs the franchise operation through his firm GiD. A former coal miner, Govor has been a McDonald’s licensee since 2015 and he is known for opening restaurants in remote locations like Siberia.
Russia’s Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said the deal followed a long and difficult negotiation process and the government would provide Govor all the necessary assistance to set up operations.
The decision came after the burger chain decided to abandon Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, becoming the biggest global to exit the country as sanctions are escalating.
McDonald’s owns 84% of its nearly 840 restaurants in Russia. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.
In March, McDonald’s temporarily closed its restaurants in Russia including its first location in Pushkin Square.
The company said it was “de-arching” the outlets, or removing the McDonald’s name, logo, branding and menu, before they are sold to a local buyer. The burger chain will, however, retain its trademarks in Russia.