Ambassador Hotel head is lovin’ it as McDonald’s bid OK’d

The China Post

By Christine Chou — After months spent clearing regulatory hurdles, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC, 公平會) Wednesday approved a whopper NT$5.09 billion bid from Ambassador Hotel group president Hubert Lee to purchase McDonald’s Taiwan assets. The FTC concluded that the merger between the hotel company and food and beverage services business would not significantly change the McDonald’s current market share in Taiwan, while the western fast food market concentration and structure will likely remain the same. “Since the deal will not result in difficulties for other fast food companies, there is no substantial need to limit competition. Thus the commission will not intervene in the merger,” the FTC said in a statement. On the MOEA’s business registration website, Lee is listed as a representative of De Yu (德昱), 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.

McDonald’s was the first major fast food chain to bite into the Taiwan market more than three decades ago. There are currently more than 400 outlets with 20,000 employees in Taiwan. The fast food giant decided to hand over full control over its Taiwan operations as part of a global restructuring. Lee is the third-generation of the family-run Yeangder Group (仰德) and was challenged with rejuvenating the family business. While his older brother controls the group as chairman of its board of directors, Lee has spearheaded the launch of half a dozen new brands, including younger generation-focused boutique hotel Amba, an American-style restaurant 1Bite2Go, A CUT Steakhouse, and bakery Le Bouquet Cakes. The group owns the Ambassador Hotel group, Shihlin Electric and Engineering Corporation (士林電機), HCT Logistics (新竹貨運) and Hsin Chu Golf Country Club (新豐高爾夫球場) — the family also owns the land under the Tianmu’s Sogo Department store, according to local media.