There’s one business line that has been booming in Russia since Western sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine led hundreds of foreign corporations to pull out: re-branding.
In one of the biggest handovers so far, a new Russian-owned replacement for the McDonald’s fast-food chain is set to open its first outlets in the coming days, according to a new report.
The state-controlled Tass news service said 15 former McDonald’s outlets in Moscow and the surrounding region will re-open June 15 under the private ownership of Russians, with more outlets to follow. The new Russian name for the restaurants has not been revealed.
The U.S. hamburger chain, which created a sensation when it opened its first stores in Russia in the days after the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago, suspended operations at its nearly 850 locations in Russia in March, just weeks after the Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine.
Two months later, the company said it was pulling out of Russia entirely, joining such well-known brand names as Amazon, Apple, Starbucks and Heineken.
The “humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values,” the company announced last month.
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The company sold its business inside Russia to licensee Alexander Govor.
“The chain will operate under a new brand and with new menu names, and all employees will retain jobs ‘under equivalent terms’ for at least two years,” according to the Tass report.
The company reportedly had some 62,000 employees across the country when it shuttered operations, and estimated it will take a $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion write-off from the decision to leave.