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Larry Robbins Gives McDonald’s a Break with a Brand New Stake

Investors and customers have been losing their craving for McDonald’s but Larry Robbins is picking up some shares

A McDonald's restaurant is pictured in Encinitas,   California

McDonald’s has been a loser lately, given the healthy eating trend, but hedge fund manager Larry Robbins might be lovin’ the stock at these levels. For years, the iconic fast food joint has been the whipping boy of the health advocates, was ridiculed in the film Supersize Me, and is seen by many as irrelevant, given healthier options like Chipotle Mexican Grill and Panera Bread. McDonald’s may have set its sights on overseas expansion, but hopes have dimmed even abroad.

Still, McDonald’s isn’t a company that is just going to fade away, according to some, and there are those who think it is worth buying on the decline. Larry Robbins of Glenview Capital revealed, according to Forbes, that he has taken a stake in McDonald’s, and calls it a “recycling” option, meaning the company could turn itself around. He spoke less about the potential to revamp its menu than the possibility of selling off real estate assets or adopting a more aggressive capital structure. It is possible that Robbins might advocate McDonald’s split into a franchisor of its brand and a kind of landlord that rented out its real estate. This was a plan Bill Ackman suggested for the company in 2005, and ten years later, according to Forbes, it might still be an option.

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