Debenhams reveals new Franco Manca partnership, plans further 30 food concession offers by October: Debenhams has revealed a new partnership with pizza brand Franco Manca as it aims to open a further 30 food concession offers by October. In the company’s trading update for the 15 weeks to June 2 2016, Debenhams said Franco Manca would be operating a concession from its Westfield White City store as part of the continued roll-out of food concessions. It stated: “Our plan to increase casual dining options across the Debenhams store estate is making good progress, with a further 30 food offers planned to open by the autumn, so that approximately 40% of our stores will have a new food offer by Christmas 2016. Westfield White City will increase its food offers to three with the opening of Italian restaurant concept, Franco Manca, and we are planning to launch another new casual dining partnership in our modernised Lakeside store.” Chief executive Michael Sharp added: “Our strategy remains unchanged, with further progress in driving our non-clothing mix, continuing to improve service for multi-channel customers, and offering a wider choice of products and services in under-optimised space.” Debenhams reported group like-for-like sales were down 0.2% for the 15-week period, leaving them up 0.7% for the year to date while online sales for the 15 weeks grew 7.0%, leaving them up 9.1% overall to date.
Reuters – McDonald’s receives multiple bids for China and Hong Kong master franchise: McDonald’s has received more than half a dozen bids for 2,800 China and Hong Kong stores, including offers from Beijing Tourism Group, Sanpower and ChemChina in a deal worth about $3bn. Global buyout firms including Bain Capital, TPG Capital and Carlyle Group have entered the auction with a view to team up with some of the Chinese strategic bidders. According to Reuters, McDonald’s is offering a 20-year master franchise agreement to buyers as part of the deal. Other bidders thought to be preparing to place first-round bids ahead of Monday’s (27 June) deadline include Beijing Capital Agribusiness Group, McDonald’s China partner, and GreenTree Hospitality. McDonald’s has hired Morgan Stanley to run the sale of about 2,800 restaurants in China, Hong Kong and South Korea, Reuters previously reported. The sale in South Korea is being run separately and it was not known if the same parties have expressed interest in the South Korean sale. The China and Hong Kong business had about $200m in earnings before interest, depreciation and amortisation, and could be sold for about 15 to 16 times its core earnings, taking the deal value to about $3bn. “We are making progress as we look for long-term strategic partners with local relevance who have complementary skills and expertise coupled with a strong understanding of McDonald’s brand and who share our values and vision with a dedicated focus on accelerating growth initiatives,” a company spokeswoman said. McDonald’s does not break out country-by-country revenue details but industry data shows it is China’s second largest fast food chain behind Yum! Brands, which operates KFC and Pizza Hut.