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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Seven local McDonald’s franchises sold

Eric Miller, right, pictured in 2007 with his son, Christian.

Longtime Fredericksburg-area McDonald’s franchise owner Eric Miller has sold all the restaurants he operated in the region.

On Dec. 27 Miller sold the operating rights to his seven local McDonald’s restaurants to an affiliate of Woodbridge-based Welburn Management, which had already owned numerous McDonald’s locations in the Fredericksburg area and beyond.

Miller has owned McDonald’s restaurants in the Fredericksburg area since 1992, when he moved to Stafford County from Fairfax County.

Miller said Monday that he decided to sell because of the country’s current political climate, which has led to uncertainty regarding the fiscal cliff as well as high healthcare costs and taxes on businesses.

“It seemed like the right time,” Miller said.

Miller said he will remain in the Fredericksburg area and is already working on a new venture that he said he would discuss publicly later this year.

Miller didn’t disclose financial terms of the sale but called them “favorable” and said he accomplished his goals.

Included in the deal were four McDonald’s restaurants in Stafford County: at Ferry Farm and the Town Center at Aquia, off Interstate 95 on Courthouse Road and inside the Garrisonville Road Walmart.

Miller also sold his Fredericksburg locations across from Eagle Village and near Carlos O’Kelly’s off State Route 3, as well as the McDonald’s in the Southpoint area of Spotsylvania County.

Also included in the deal were the rights to develop a McDonald’s just off the Ladysmith exit in Caroline County. Plans for that location have been submitted to Caroline planning officials.

Miller said the deals did not involve real estate, but rather the operating rights.