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McDonald's Decides Against REIT Spinoff

National Retail

Turns out McDonald's will not be making an order for a REIT spinoff, despite touting from investors. Instead, the world's largest restaurant chain will increase cost-cutting efforts (like refranchising about 4,000 locations) and return $10B to shareholders by the end of 2016.

"We don’t believe it serves the best interests of shareholders to pursue a REIT," CEO Steve Easterbrook said. "The potential upside is not compelling, and the future value at risk too great." Shares rose by 3% following the announcement. 

Its current turnaround plan has a savings goal of $500M per year, and includes simplifying its kitchen operations, improving order accuracy and cutting some food items. The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 5% to $0.89 a share.

It seems as if the efforts are paying off so far. The fast food chain announced a gain in US sales after seven straight quarters of declines.

But not everyone is happy. Glenview Capital Management still believes McDonald's could make at least $20B from a REIT. [Bloomberg]