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McDonald’s Taiwan changes hands

Ambassador Hotel CEO Hubert Lee to play major role through separate company

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A McDonald's branch in Taiwan.

A McDonald's branch in Taiwan. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – McDonald’s Taiwan announced Thursday that the management of its nearly 400 restaurants on the island had been taken over by a company controlled by Ambassador Hotel Group (國賓大飯店) CEO Hubert Lee (李昌霖).

Plans for the deal were announced several months ago, but the takeover, estimated at a value of NT$5.09 billion (US$168.8 million) had to be approved by several government bodies.

The hotel has emphasized it is not involved in the transaction, since Lee is taking a stake in the McDonald’s operations through a separate firm named De Yu Co. (德昱), in which he reportedly controls 70 percent.

A statement from the Taiwan branch of the U.S.-based fast food behemoth Thursday did not reveal details about the financial transaction, though it said Lee would be actively involved in its development and management.

Lee’s family runs the Yeangder Group (仰德), which also has interests in delivery firm HCT Logistics (新竹貨運) and in Shihlin Electric and Engineering Corporation (士林電機).

The Ambassador Hotel Group runs 1Bite2Go Café and Deli as well as A Cut steak house, which led government commissions to take a close look at the potential impact of Lee’s moves on the restaurant sector.