Retail giant Walmart sold Japanese retailer Seiyu to investment company KKR and e-commerce company Rakuten.
Seiyu was put up for sale two years ago. Japanese media reported that Walmart wants to sell Seiyu for 300-500 billion yen (2.4-4 billion euros). Unfortunately, the price was too high, and there was no buyer at the time. According to the current deal, Seiyu, which operates about 330 supermarkets, is estimated at 172.5 billion yen (1.39 billion euros). The sale of the chain began shortly after rumors that Walmart was planning to leave Japan. KKR acquires 65% of the Japanese supermarket chain. In contrast, Rakuten, which already has an online partnership with Seiyu, will receive 20% of the shares. Walmart itself retains a minority stake of 15%.
The sale of Seiyu is Walmart's latest deal under the program to liquidate inefficient assets, mainly since the company has already left the UK (selling Asda) and Argentina. Thus, the retailer plans to obtain funding for various trading initiatives in emerging markets such as China (Sam's Club) or India (Flipkart).
Recall that the world's largest retailer entered the Japanese market in 2002. The company then acquired a 6% stake in the Seiyu chain, which had already had difficulties and systematically continued to buy the company in subsequent years. In 2008, Walmart finally took over the entire company.