Who Owns McDonalds?

Who Owns McDonalds?

McDonald’s is owned by different shareholders, as it’s a publicly traded company. According to CNN Business reports, most of this company’s owners are institutional investors, who make up 70.14% of the outstanding shares. Individual owners only make up about 0.31%. 

Today, McDonald’s remains one of the world’s most recognizable fast food chains. According to one study, about 7% of all Americans consume a meal from this fast food chain daily. This amounts to approximately 80% of all Americans eating at a McDonald’s franchise yearly. 

This success has led investors to cumulatively own about 732.42 million outstanding shares, which gives it an estimated market cap of $196.23 billion. The largest shareholder of McDonald’s is The Vanguard Group Inc, which has an 8.81% stake in the company valued at $16,994,291,524, at the time of writing.

This article will cover McDonald’s owners and its largest shareholders. We’ll also look at some of the companies that McDonald’s owns. 

A Brief History of McDonald’s Ownership

The first McDonald’s restaurant went open in 1940, after two brothers, Maurice (Mac) and Richard McDonald, converted their hot dog stand idea into a burger restaurant focused on speed and efficiency. 

Based in San Bernardino, California, McDonald’s soon received a revamp after the two brothers decided to renovate their restaurant to produce vast quantities of food at low prices. They developed the “Speedee Service System,” which was the precursor to the modern fast-food restaurant.

This system emphasized a simple menu that only featured hamburgers, potato chips (which were later replaced by french fries), and the infamous pie. The brothers purchased the appliances for McDonald’s from a milkshake salesman named Ray Kroc. 

In 1954, Kroc saw the potential for a nationwide chain of fast-food restaurants based on the McDonald’s concept. He struck a deal with the brothers to franchise the concept, and began opening McDonald’s restaurants across the United States. 

In 1955, Kroc launched McDonald’s Systems in Illinois, where he opened the first franchise. In 1961, he bought out the two brothers to become the owner of McDonald’s. He paid approximately $2.7 million to the brothers as he grew increasingly frustrated with how the restaurant was run and wanted to control it himself. 

Soon after, the company started experiencing rapid growth, and Ray Kroc started looking for ways to finance these expansion plans. The only viable option that made sense was to go public, because it allowed the company to garner sizable investments for expansion. 

McDonald’s IPO

On January 21st, 1965, the fast-food giant opened its doors to public investment. Much to Kroc’s liking, the reception was overwhelmingly positive. The IPO garnered the attention of all these individual and institutional investors, who quickly snapped up the shares.

The IPO saw the shares priced at $22.50 per share, with the underwriters selling 2.6 million shares of common stock. By investment standards, the IPO was seen as a major success, as the shares quickly rose to $30 per share on the first day of trading. This move saw the company raise $6 million in capital from the offering.

Prior to the IPO, McDonald’s was already an established company. But it was more of a regional chain with a couple of locations spread out across the United States. The IPO provided the capital needed to fund the company’s expansion. True to that, McDonald’s grew to become one of the most recognizable fast food brands in the world, as they soared high, opening thousands of locations across the world. 

McDonald’s Owners and Largest Shareholders

According to Zippia, McDonald’s had about 38,000 restaurants across the world as of 2022. They operate in about 118 countries and territories, generating about $23.22 billion in revenue as of 2021. 

The company has about 2 million people working across all its franchises worldwide. The U.S. is the highest McDonald’s revenue contributor, generating about $8.7 billion each year in revenue. 

Here are the largest shareholders and owners of McDonald’s. 

The Vanguard Group, Inc.

The Vanguard group offers a wide range of services, none more recognizable than its investment management and advisory services. They offer their services to equity investment and fixed-income groups. The Vanguard Group also extends its services to investment pooled vehicles, separate account institutional clients, and mutual funds.

The Vanguard Group offers its services to all regions of the earth, including Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1975, this firm has risen to become one of the largest asset management firms in the world, with an estimated global AUM of $7.1 trillion

According to CNN Business, The Vanguard Group had reported institutional ownership of McDonald’s with a stake of 8.81%. This represents about 64, 487,123 shares owned, bringing its total valuation to about $16,994,291,524 at the time of writing. This makes them the largest stockholder of the McDonald’s Corporation.  

SSgA Funds Management, Inc.

Founded in 2001, SSgA Funds Management Inc is an investment firm that offers a wide variety of services, including portfolio management, investment advisory services, and financial planning. SSgA stands for State Street Global Advisors. And just like The Vanguard Group, SSgA also operates globally. 

According to its official website, SSgA operates in 57 countries, with about $3.71 trillion in assets in management, making it the fourth-largest asset management company in the world. It has over 2000 institutional clients and over 32 million direct client participants. 

According to CNN Business, SSgA is the second-largest institutional owner of McDonald’s, with an estimated stake of 4.74%. This represents 34,704,308 shares owned, bringing the total valuation of its stake to $9,145,626,287 at the time of writing. 

BlackRock Fund Advisors

Founded in 1988, BlackRock Fund Advisors is an American multinational investment company that has its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, New York. It’s one of the leading investment firms in the world with a strong reputation for offering financial services such as investment management, portfolio advice, and financial planning. 

Although the exact number of assets under its management is not known, sources estimate that it has over $10 trillion in AUM as of 2022. Simply known as BlackRock, this investment firm serves a diverse client base, including individual investors, financial advisors, pension plans, endowments, and foundations.

CNN Business reports rank this firm as the third-largest stockholder of the McDonald’s company, with a 4.66% stake in the company. This represents about 34,163,517 shares owned, which equates to a total valuation of $9,003,111,635. 

But that’s not the only company that they have a major stake in. ​​According to recent reports, the company is a major shareholder in many of the world’s largest companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, and Johnson & Johnson.

Wellington Management Co. LLP

Wellington Management Co. LLP is a leading independent investment management firm that was founded in 1928. It manages over $1 trillion in assets across diverse investment strategies for its clients. The firm is known for its rigorous, research-driven investment process and for its long-term approach to investing.

One of the firm’s notable investments is its stake in McDonald’s Corporation. Wellington has held shares of the fast-food giant for several years and has continued to increase its position over time. CNN Business puts this firm as the fourth-largest shareholder of McDonald’s with a 2.37% stake, equating to a total valuation of $4,565,144,684.

The investment aligns with the firm’s long-term perspective, as McDonald’s is a well-established brand with a proven track record of delivering steady earnings growth and reliable dividend payments.

Geode Capital Management LLC

Geode Capital Management LLC is a leading investment management firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. This systematic asset management company has a strong track record in managing large and diverse client portfolios. According to its official web page, Geode Capital Management LLC has over $866 billion AUM. 

As of its latest filing, Geode Capital holds a significant stake in McDonald’s, which is one of its largest positions. According to reports, Geode Capital Management LLC has a 1.85% stake in the giant food chain company, which represents a $3,563,708,021 valuation. 

J.P. Morgan Investment Management

J.P. Morgan Investment Management is a division of JPMorgan Chase, a global financial services firm. It is one of the world’s oldest investment firms and asset management companies, as it was formed in 1935. 

The division provides a range of investment solutions to institutions, governments, and individuals worldwide. J.P. Morgan Investment Management has a strong focus on asset management and is one of the largest investment managers in the world.

J.P. Morgan Investment Management is a significant shareholder of the fast food giant. According to CNN, J.P. Morgan Investment Management is the sixth-largest shareholder of the McDonald’s Corporation with a 1.65% which equates to $3,185,705,069 at the time of writing.

The company has been investing in McDonald’s for several years and sees it as a solid long-term investment due to its strong brand, consistent financial performance, and global presence.

Joseph M. Erlinger

Joseph Erlinger is the President of McDonald’s USA. He oversees the business operations of all 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. According to Benzinga, Joseph has about 8,000 units of common stock shares in McDonald’s.

Ian Frederick Borden

Ian Borden is the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at McDonald’s. He’s primarily responsible for the company’s financial position, as he oversees the finances of more than 39,000 restaurants in over 100 countries worldwide. 

He’s one of the longest-serving members of the McDonald’s family, as his union with the company dates back 30 years. Benzinga estimates that he owns more than 7,000 units of the McDonald’s corporation’s common stock. 


McDonald’s is a publicly-traded company, with a considerable percentage of its shareholders being institutional. The top 5 institutions with the most significant stake in McDonald’s include The Vanguard Group Inc, SSgA Funds Management Inc, BlackRock Fund Advisors, Wellington Management Co. LLP, and Geode Capital Management LLC. 

Top executive individuals in the company also have a significant stake in the company, but overall they make up a mere 0.31% of the total ownership of the McDonald’s Corporation. Joseph M. Erlinger and Ian Frederick Borden are some of the few individual owners with a significant stake in the company. 

The fast-food giant has a long history of successful operations, and its success is evident in its global reach and impressive financial performance. While the company’s management team and board of directors play a crucial role in guiding its strategy and direction, the shareholders ultimately hold power to determine its future through their ownership of the company’s stock.



Want Receive new Business Model Analysis direct on your inbox? Subscribe now and don't miss any new posts!