McDonald's (MCD) said on Monday that it intends to close all 169 of its locations in India's northern and eastern regions, intensifying the fast-food giant's dispute with local partners.

McDonald's said it felt "compelled" to take the aggressive action because its partner in the country, Connaught Plaza Restaurants Pvt Ltd (CPRL), had broken the terms of their franchise agreement. The move stands to put thousands out of work.

Reuters first reported the news. 

The action also follows McDonald's lengthy legal dispute with CPRL that led the company to shut over 40 restaurants in late June.

The decision by McDonald's came as a "big shock," Vikram Bakshi, managing director of CPRL, told Reuters. Bakshi added that it was exploring all legal options.

While all restaurants will have to cease using McDonald's name, trademarks, recipes, and branding within 15 days of notice, the fast-food conglomerate is not ruling out an outright removal from those regions and is seeking a different partner.

"It will take time to bring the current situation to a final resolution," McDonald's said.

Shares of McDonald's traded down 0.26% to $158.39 Thursday.

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