Wal-Mart Buys Control of Central American Chain
Mar 16, 2006
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Wal-Mart acquired a majority interest in Central American Retail Holding Company (CARHCO), retail operator in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Mike Duke, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and head of Wal-Mart International, said yesterday the company made the additional investment in CARHCO to bring its share of the firm to 51 percent. In September 2005, Wal-Mart acquired the 33-1/3-percent interest in CARHCO owned by Dutch retailer Royal Ahold NV.

CARHCO is said to be Central America’s leading retailer. Its 375 supermarkets and other stores include: 124 stores in Guatemala, 58 in El Salvador, 35 in Honduras, 33 in Nicaragua, and 125 in Costa Rica. CARHCO has approximately 23,000 employees and 2005 sales of approximately U.S. $2.2 billion.

Duke said the name CARHCO will be replaced by Wal-Mart Central America, but that no immediate changes were planned in the names of any of the store formats operating in the region.

“We also want to emphasize that CARHCO’s strong relationships with suppliers throughout Central America will be strengthened in the future by Wal-Mart Central America,” Duke said.

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