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Walmart Trying To List Again Its Japanese Unit Seiyu

walmart-seiyu-062619-lt.jpg

Walmart Inc. plans to relist its Japanese supermarket subsidiary Seiyu to the stock market, according to reports. The move gains relevance amid speculations that U.S. retail giant may exit the tough Japanese market.

Walmart entered the Japanese market by acquiring a 6 percent stake in the then-struggling Seiyu in 2002 and gradually raised its holding in the supermarket chain before a full takeover in 2008.

Seiju was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange until 2008, before it became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart.

The Nikkei Asian Review reported that Walmart hopes it will be easier for Seiyu to raise funds as a listed company. Walmart could decide to either list Seiyu or its holding company, Walmart Japan Holdings.

Last year, reports indicated that Walmart was looking to sell Seiyu for up to 500 billion yen, amid fierce competition from online retailers and due to thin margins. Japan's supermarkets are being squeezed by discount drugstores and convenience stores in a sluggish market.

However, Walmart has found it difficult to find a buyer for Seiyu due to the rising costs in Japan's retail sector, including wages, and the expenses the buyers could incur to renovate Seiyu's ageing stores.

Other foreign retailers too have exited the tough Japanese market. France's Carrefour SA exited the market in 2005 and Britain's Tesco PLC followed suit in 2011.

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