McDonalds May Unload Boston Market
From USATODAY: McDonald's (MCD) is exploring strategic options for its Boston Market chicken restaurant chain as part of a strategy to focus resources on its primary hamburger chain, a spokesman saidFriday. Boston Market employees were told Thursday that McDonald's was going to review its options about continued ownership, a spokeswoman said. "We are beginning to look at potential options and will explore our alternatives during 2007," said McDonald's spokesman Walt Riker in an e-mailed statement. "No decisions have been made whatsoever, and therefore it is absolutely inappropriate to speculate," he added. The news was first reported by the Chicago Tribune. Riker said the company's priority was its namesake hamburger chain. McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant company, acquired Boston Market in 2000 for $173.5 million as part of a diversification strategy that included buying a controlling interest in Chipotle Mexican Grill. In 2003, McDonald's laid out a strategy to revitalize sales at its then-struggling hamburger chain by focusing its energies on its main business and shedding smaller brands like Donato's Pizza and Chipotle. Donato's was sold back to its founder in 2003 and Chipotle was spun off to the public last year. McDonald's shares were down 23 cents at $44.28 on the New York Stock Exchange in afternoon trading.
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