U.S. retailer Walmart Inc has decided to sell Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu and has already approached major retailers and private equity funds, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday.
According to Nikkei report: The unit is expected to fetch 300 billion yen to 500 billion yen (US $2.7 billion to US $4.5 billion) and would mark the largest shake-up in Japan’s distribution industry since Uny Group Holdings merged with FamilyMart in 2016.
The world’s biggest retailer said last month it had sold an 80 percent stake in its Brazilian operations to private equity firm Advent International, exiting an underperforming business in its third major international deal since April.
Walmart has been looking to jumpstart its overseas business by retreating from lower-growth markets and investing in places like China and India, Nikkei reported.
Walmart has been strengthening its online operations in Japan as well, partnering with e-commerce company Rakuten in January. The two companies will open an online grocery service this summer.
However, business for Seiyu, which operates large-scale supermarkets, has been tough.
Walmart’s business in Japan posted a net loss of 200 million yen for the year ending in December 2016, and broke even the following year.