McDonald’s is selling all of its restaurants in Russia 30 years after the burger chain became a powerful symbol of easing Cold War tensions between the United States and Soviet Union.
The company shuttered hundreds of locations in March after Russia invaded Ukraine, which has cost McDonald’s about $55 million per month. On Monday, McDonald’s announced it would sell those stores and leave Russia.
An existing McDonald’s licensee, Alexander Govor, who operates 25 restaurants in Siberia, has agreed to buy McDonald’s 850 Russian restaurants and operate them under a new name, the Chicago burger giant said Thursday.
McDonald’s did not disclose the terms of the sale. Last year, McDonald’s Russian operations contributed 9% of the company’s total annual sales, or around $2 billion.
It’s the first time the company has “de-arched,” or exited a major market. It plans to start removing golden arches and other symbols and signs with the company’s name. McDonald’s said it will also will maintain its trademarks in Russia and take steps to enforce them if necessary.