McDonald's Invests in Health Food 27641

March 1, 2001

2 Min Read
McDonald's Invests in Health Food


McDonald's Invests in Health Food

OAK BROOK, Ill.--The power that introduced Egg McMuffins andHappy Meals to the food culture is now investing in cappuccinos and veggiesandwiches that are gluten- and GM-free. McDonald's Corp. (NYSE:MCJ) announcedJan. 31 that it acquired a minority interest in 15-year-old Pret A Manger, aUnited Kingdom-based fast food restaurant that provides fresh food with natural,preservative-free ingredients.

According to the companies, this investment will help Pret A Manger becomemore global while helping McDonald's capture another segment of the fast foodmarket. According to Pret A Manger, it will be advantageous to have McDonald'sexpertise and worldwide infrastructure, including their adept capabilities inreal estate, construction, distribution and business systems. Presently, thenatural food shop operates more than 100 outlets throughout the U.K. and justopened a shop in New York. Plans are in the works for opening more locations inManhattan as well as introducing the chain into Asia. Terms of the agreementwere not disclosed.

McDonald's is the perfect partner for implementing these plans, since it hasmore than 28,000 restaurants in 120 countries. "It provides McDonald's withanother opportunity to advance our long-term strategy to seek a greater share ofthe informal eating-out market by capturing meal occasions that don't make sensefor McDonald's to offer," said Claire Babrowski, executive vice presidentof McDonald's Corp.

The founders and existing shareholders--Julian Metcalfe, Sinclair Beecham,Andrew Rolfe and Harvey Smyth--will retain majority ownership and managementcontrol of Pret A Manger.

"McDonald's has invested in us because they like what they see and whatthey eat," said Metcalfe. "They want us to stay just the way we are.Our style of food, our people and culture will remain steadfastly at the heartof what we do."

According to England's BBC newswire, McDonald's has staked a 33-percent sharein Pret A Manger. This isn't the first British relationship for McDonald's; italso owns 41 Aroma Cafes throughout the U.K. For additional information, visit www.mcdonalds.com.

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