The year-long auction of McDonald's business in China has finally come to an end as state-owned enterprise Citic Ltd. announced the purchase was officially completed on July 31st.
The purchase marks the US food giant's largest franchise business overseas, with its 2,700 stores being run by the purchasers.
Under the $2.08-billion deal, Citic Ltd. and Citic Capital Partners will jointly take a 52 percent stake, while U.S. firm Carlyle will hold 28 percent.
In March 2016, McDonald said it's seeking strategic partners in Asia, including on the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. The move is aimed at turning 95 percent of the international outlets into franchise stores.
China is McDonald's third largest market in the world as well as the fastest expanding one. Until the end of 2016, there have been more than 2,400 outlets on the Chinese mainland and approximately 240 in Hong Kong.
Citic, founded in 1979, is best known for its operations and investments in financial services, real estate, natural resources and manufacturing.