Thursday, April 27, 2006

McDonald's to Reduce Stake in Chipotle

OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) - McDonald's Corp. plans to reduce its ownership of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. in coming months and complete the separation by year's end to concentrate on its flagship fast-food restaurants, the company said Wednesday.

McDonald's plans to sell around five million shares of Chipotle stock within the next two months through a registered securities offering and use the proceeds to buy back McDonald's shares, the Oak Brook-based company said.

Later this year, McDonald's expects to completely separate from Chipotle through an exchange of Chipotle shares for McDonald's common stock, the company said.

Since McDonald's made its initial investment in 1998, Chipotle, a quick-service restaurant offering burritos and tacos, has grown from 16 restaurants in the Denver area to more than 500 nationally.

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