Walmart, the U.S. retailer, recently has sold 85% of its stake at Japanse Seiyu supermarket in a deal valued at 172.5 billion ($1.6 billion).

Despite selling the majority of its stake, Walmart remained a 15% stake in this market. KKR & Co., a global investment firm, will be the new owner of Walmart’s 65% stake, while Rakuten, a Japanese online retailer, will purchase 20% of Walmart’s stake. KKR and Rakuten have the ambition to enhance digital marketing power and e-commerce to Walmart. The two new owners of Walmart’s stake will look forward to strengthening the retailer with digital privilege.

A new CEO will be introduced to the place as well, the retailer confirmed in a statement.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart, entered the Japanese market in 2002 with a small price stake. Back then, they also ran several stores of Walmart in Europe and other parts of Asia. Japanese Seiyu became a part of Walmart corporation in 2008.

Walmart was skepticism in the first place since the Japanese market is always a challenge for foreign companies. However, the American retailer proved its influence, and after nearly two decades, Walmart still showed its importance on the Japanese market.

Walmart sold most of their stakes to Seiyu.

Before selling the stake to Rakuten, the two companies have already collaborated on several projects.

“We look forward to accelerating digital transformation of Seiyu brick and mortar retail and further merging the best of offline and online retail,” Kazunori Takeda, a senior executive at Rakuten said.

Seiyu supermarket, with the power of Rakuten and KKR, will also to Walmart’s stock. Theoretically, they could sell products at a lower price. Seiyu was founded in 1963, and throughout the year, they have opened 300 stores in Japan and employed more than 34,000 people. The Japanese company can be a powerful caretaker of Walmart’s future.

After all, the American retailer perhaps has made the right move in such a terrible and tremendously daunting year of 2020.

via AP


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