• Tue. Aug 16th, 2022

U.S. retailer to sell Japanese unit to KKR after unloading U.K., Argentina operations

Nov 16, 2020

TOKYO Walmart Inc. threw in the towel on Japan after 18 years, selling most of its stake in a local supermarket chain and continuing its retreat from slow-growing global markets in favor of e-commerce bets.
Private-equity firm KKR & Co. will buy 65% of Tokyo-based Seiyu GK in a deal that values the 329-store, 34,600-employee chain at just over $1.6 billion, the companies said. Walmart will retain 15%, while Japanese internet company Rakuten Inc. will take 20%.
Walmart has sold three longtime overseas holdings in less than seven weeks, each at the cost of some financial pain.
In October, the Bentonville, Ark., giant agreed to sell U.K. grocery-store chain Asda Group Ltd. to a private investment group in a deal valuing Asda at the equivalent of $8.8 billion. Walmart said it expected to recognize a noncash after-tax loss of about $2.5 billion. And on Nov. 6, Walmart said it would sell its retail operations in Argentina in a deal that would result in a noncash after-tax loss of about $1 billion.
The pandemic has helped grocery stores and may have made it easier for Walmart to find buyers.