Charlotte, North Carolina--McDonald's Holdings Co. (Japan) Ltd., the Japanese operation of the fast-food giant, may be finalizing plans to partner with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc., Salomon Smith Barney said. According to the financial firm, unidentified industry sources suggest the possible partnership would allow McDonald's Japan to open doughnut shops in Japan.

Such a move would be in keeping with Krispy Kreme's recent moves to open international stores. The doughnut chain has a handful of stores in Canada and plans to open in Australia and New Zealand this spring. Krispy Kreme has said it will likely announce one or two additional partnerships for international expansion by year-end. -Dow Jones