The Strategist

Walmart sells its Japanese business for $1.6B

11/17/2020 - 03:45

Walmart, which operates the largest US retail chain, has announced the sale of a majority stake in Japan's Seiyu supermarket chain.

Walmart sells 85% of the company's shares for 172.5 billion yen ($1.6 billion) to the U.S. investment fund KKR (which will hold a 65% stake in Seiyu) and Japanese online retailer Rakuten (which will hold a 20% stake). Walmart retains a 15% stake in Seiyu.

The chain includes 329 shops. Last year, Walmart Japan, whose main asset is Seiyu, had revenues of 47 million yen ($450,000), before which the division was reporting losses for several consecutive years.

This is not the first time in several months that a U.S. company has sold its overseas assets - in early October Walmart sold its majority stake in the British supermarket chain Asda, and in early November announced the sale of its Argentine division. 

Walmart, which also sold its Brazilian subsidiary two years ago, demonstrates a desire to concentrate on online trading outside the US. For example, in 2018, the company bought 77% in India's online retailer Flipkart for $16 billion, making it the largest deal in Walmart's history.