The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Investment Commission (投審會) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) approved Tuesday a bid by the company invested by Ambassador Hotel President Hubert Lee (李昌霖) to acquire McDonald’s franchise and assets in Taiwan. The investment is estimated to be worth up to NT$5.09 billion, reports say. The proposal must still undergo review by the Fair Trade Commission. Investment Commission Executive Secretary Emile Chang (張銘斌) said the FTC’s approval was needed because Ambassador Hotel, which Lee manages, is in part a food and beverage service business.

On the MOEA’s business registration website, Lee is listed as a representative of De Yu Co. Ltd. (德昱股份有限公司), the company that acquired the management rights for the American fast food chain in Taiwan. The company was established in December 2015 and has listed capital of NT$625,000.

Media reported that other investors in the acquisition include Sinyi Realty (信義房屋) Chairman Chou Chun-chi (周俊吉) and Zhonghe Textiles Incorporated (中和紡織) owner Yeh Chi-chao (葉啟昭). The Ambassador Hotel declined to comment on Tuesday, citing the fact that it was involved in the McDonalds deal. ‘Personal deal for the president’ The hotel had stated last year that the hotel had nothing to do with the investment of its president. Both Chou and Yeh’s investments are also reportedly made in their personal capacities, with their respective companies excluded from the deal. Serving Taiwan Since 1984 Local media had speculated that Lee’s immense interest in penetrating the market through the international restaurant chain had prompted him to invest in the control of McDonald’s Taiwan for the next 20 years. McDonald’s set up its first restaurant in Taipei in 1984. The restaurant became the bestselling McDonald’s joint worldwide based on weekly sales in its first week of business.

There are currently over 410 McDonald’s restaurants in Taiwan.