PETALING JAYA: McDonald’s Corp has named Lionhorn Pte Ltd as the developmental licensee (DL) for its Malaysia and Singapore markets, effective Dec 1, 2016. “This transaction marks another milestone in our company’s ongoing efforts to identify strategic partners who share our values and vision to accelerate our growth and scale across diverse markets, drive innovation and place us closer to our customers and the communities we serve,” McDonald’s president and CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement last Friday. The new DL assumed ownership of the McDonald’s business in Malaysia and Singapore on Dec 1, 2016, which includes a total of 390 restaurants, more than 80% of which are company-owned. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Under the DL structure, McDonald’s transferred its ownership interest in McDonald’s Malaysia and Singapore and granted a licence to the DL to run McDonald’s restaurant operations in the two markets. The DL partner will provide the capital necessary to support and grow the business. It will also pay an initial franchise fee and an ongoing royalty to McDonald’s. Lionhorn is led by Sheik Fahd and Abdulrahman Alireza, who bring 20 years of experience as the DL for the nearly 100 McDonald’s restaurants in the Western and Southern regions of Saudi Arabia. The day-to-day management of the Malaysia and Singapore markets will be led by local operating partners Azmir Jaafar and Kenneth Chan respectively. Both Azmir and Chan have previously held senior leadership positions at McDonald’s and have more than 40 years’ experience combined. McDonald’s said the changes come after a rigorous evaluation and selection process over the past year. As part of its turnaround plan announced in May 2015, McDonald’s committed to refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018 with the long-term goal of becoming 95% franchised. With this transaction, McDonald’s has now refranchised about 1,300 restaurants.