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McDonald's Golden Arches Removed in Russia As Exit Begins

    McDonald's Golden Arches Removed in Russia As Exit Begins
    Last updated: 6 months ago
    Image credit: Reuters [via New York Post]

    Facts

    • On Mon., fast-food giant McDonald's retreat from Russia began with the removal of a golden arches sign outside Moscow - a week after the company announced its plans to sell and leave the Russian market entirely following the invasion of Ukraine. [1]
    • The fast-food chain has agreed to sell its Russian locations to local licensee Alexander Govor who operates 25 locations throughout Siberia. Via the acquisition, Govor has also agreed to retain all Russian Mcdonald's employees for at least two years and pay the salaries of local corporate employees until the deal closes. [2]
    • In March, McDonald's closed all of its 850 restaurants and continued to pay its 62K employees, costing the company $50M per month. [3]
    • McDonald's exit projects to cost the company roughly $1.2B to $1.4B. [4]
    • McDonald's restaurants in Ukraine are also currently closed, but the company hasn't commented on the future of those stores. [4]
    • Dozens of other Western companies have announced their intent to unwind their investments in Russia. McDonald's - as well as PepsiCo and Shell - are among firms that must untangle from long-standing and complex deals.
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    Spin

    Anti-Russia narrative

    McDonald's choice to exit from Russia should be applauded. The Golden Arches used to symbolize that Western values had penetrated the Iron Curtain; the company's wise exit is now a symbol of democracy curdling under Putin.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    The sale of McDonald's will provide an opportunity for Russian businesses to come in and fill the void. This will not only provide the Russian people with a replacement eatery but also a chance to strengthen the national economy.

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