McDonald's to acquire franchised stores in Israel amid Gaza boycott

Tel Aviv, Israel - McDonald's Corporation said Thursday it will acquire Alonyal, which owns 225 McDonald's restaurants in Israel which have been hit by calls for a boycott amid the assault on Gaza.

Customers line up at a McDonald's restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Customers line up at a McDonald's restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel.  © REUTERS

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. McDonald's said in a statement the deal was subject to conditions which it did not identify.

Alonyal has operated McDonald's restaurants in Israel for more than 30 years, today owning 225 franchised properties with more than 5,000 employees, who will be retained after the sale.

In presenting its 2023 earnings report in February, McDonald's said Israel's war on Gaza was weighing on its results.

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McDonald's was targeted with boycott calls after the franchised restaurants in Israel offered thousands of free meals to Israeli soldiers.

"We recognize that families in their communities in the region continue to be tragically impacted by the war and our thoughts are with them at this time," Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski said in an analyst call.

He said the impact of the boycott was "meaningful," without elaborating.

McDonald's sees declining sales amid Gaza assault

McDonald's fourth quarter sales disappointed analysts. In franchised restaurants outside the United States, comparable sales fell 0.7%.

"Obviously the place that we're seeing the most pronounced impact is in the Middle East. We are seeing some impact in other Muslim countries like Malaysia, Indonesia," said Kempczinski.

This also happened in countries with large Muslim populations such as France, especially for restaurants in heavily Muslim neighborhoods, he said.

McDonald's shares were down nearly 2% in after-market trading Thursday.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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