Multiple media reports today say Wal-Mart will buy Trust-Mart Company, a Taiwan-based retail company operating about 100 hypermarkets in China. Wal-Mart currently reports 66 stores in China. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (Bentonville, Arkansas, U.S.) is not commenting and the deal would require approval by authorities in China.
The deal is reported to be worth U.S. $1 billion, and it would give Wal-Mart the largest chain of grocery and general merchandise department stores in China. The deal would make Wal-Mart bigger than other foreign retailers in China, such as French-based retail giant Carrefour, which reported 79 stores in China as of last month. Groupe Carrefour was also reportedly interested in acquiring the chain.
The Wall Street Journal reports a structured acquisition plan is in place, in which Wal-Mart would acquire 31 stores at the outset and acquire the rest of the stores as they make improvements to meet Wal-Mart criteria. All Trust-Mart stores would be in Wal-Mart hands in 3 years.
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