(Dec. 22) OAK BROOK, Ill. — McDonald’s Corp. says that it is unloading its Donatos Pizzeria restaurants but will keep its Chipotle Mexican Grill and Boston Market chains in the U.S.

The hamburger giant announced Dec. 15 that it would sell the Donatos chain back to its original owner, James Grote, for an undisclosed sum.

McDonald’s, through its Partner Brands subsidiary, already has made moves toward ending its domestic joint venture with Fazoli’s Italian restaurants.

Outside the U.S., McDonald’s is cutting back on its ventures. The chain will discontinue development of Boston Market in Canada and Australia and close its Pret A Manger sandwich shops in Japan, although it will maintain its minority ownership of that Britain-based company.

The changes come about a year after James Cantalupo joined McDonald’s as its chairman and chief executive officer, promising to reverse a profit slide that culminated early in 2003 in the company’s first quarterly loss since going public in 1965.

Denver-based Boston Market has 662 restaurants and Chipotle 285.