Burger King's Crimea Invasion Targets a Retreating McDonald's

Thursday, 10 Apr 2014 10:38 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Burger King is moving in on the Crimean fast-food market after top competitor McDonald's pulled out of the peninsula last week because of "supply issues."

"We are planning to open in Crimea, but I cannot say when exactly it will happen or how many outlets the company will have," Burger King Russia CEO Dmitry Medovy said on Wednesday, according to Itar-Tass news agency.

McDonald's announced Friday it would be closing its businesses in the Crimean peninsula due to "manufacturing reasons independent of McDonald's."

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Burger King has opened about 200 locations in Russia since 2010, The Moscow Times reported. In 2012, VTB, Russia's second-largest bank, purchased a 47 percent stake in Burger King Russia for $50 million. The bank then sold 12 percent of its stake to a financial investor last year.

McDonald's, which had three restaurants in Simferopol, Sevastopol, and Yalta, opened its first location in Moscow in 1990.

The company said in a statement this week that the incorporation of Crimea into Russia last month has influenced working conditions.

"Like many other multi-national companies, McDonald's is currently evaluating potential business and regulatory implications which may result from the evolving situation in Crimea," the statement read. "Due to the suspension of necessary financial and banking services, we have no option but to close our three restaurants in Crimea."

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