Terra Firma’s Hands Acquires McDonalds’ Nordic Restaurants

Guy Hands to run businesses with his wife and family.


Guy Hands, chairman of Terra Firma Capital Partners, has acquired all of fast-food chain McDonald’s restaurants in Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, although reports have the sale valued at $420 million.

The deal includes 435 McDonald’s restaurants, of which more than 95% are franchised. According to the terms of the deal, Hands will become the development licensee for the Nordic markets. McDonald’s will transfer its ownership interest in the restaurants, and will grant a license to Hands to develop and operate the restaurants. 

The deal is expected to close around the end of Q1 2017. As part of a turnaround plan announced in 2015, McDonald’s committed to refranchising 4,000 restaurants by the end of 2018 with the long-term goal of becoming 95 percent franchised.

The deal is somewhat unusual in that it gives control over the restaurants to Hands personally, rather than to his private equity firm Terra Firma. Hands said he plans to run the businesses with his wife and family – his wife Julia owns a chain of British hotels.

“We plan to leverage our industry knowledge and financial expertise, take a rigorous approach to insights and analysis and employ a hands-on approach,” said Hands. 

 Related link:  Putting Norway’s Wealth into Perspective