McDonald`s Indian franchisee Hardcastle to merge with listed parent

McDonald's Indian franchisee Hardcastle to merge with listed parent

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 07, 2012 14:00 hrs
A McDonald's sign is shown at the entrance to one of the company's restaurants in Del Mar

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Hardcastle Restaurants, master franchisee for south and west India operations of burger chain McDonald's Corp , said it will merge with its parent Westlife Development Ltd .

After the merger, the parent plans to increase McDonald's retail footprint to strengthen its presence in the existing market and enter newer ones, Amit Jatia, vice-chairman of Westlife Development, said in a statement on Friday.

Hardcastle will become a wholly owned unit of Bombay Stock Exchange-listed Westlife, giving investors a chance to participate in the growth of McDonald's in India.

Hardcastle, which operates 148 restaurants in India, has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 22.3 percent over the last three years.

Shares of Westlife, an illiquid stock, ended up 2 percent on the BSE on Friday. (Reporting by Nandita Bose; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)

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