mergers and acquisitions

KKR, Rakuten to buy most of Walmart’s Japan subsidiary

Agence France-Presse

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KKR, Rakuten to buy most of Walmart’s Japan subsidiary

SEIYU. Shoppers leave a Seiyu supermarket in Tokyo, Japan, on July 5, 2005.

File photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP

New York-based KKR is acquiring 65% of Walmart's Japanese subsidiary Seiyu, while Japan's Rakuten will buy 20%

Retail giant Walmart will sell 85% of its Japanese subsidiary Seiyu to investment firm KKR and e-commerce group Rakuten, the pair announced on Monday, November 16.

The deal, which values Seiyu at 172.5 billion yen ($1.6 billion), is expected to close in the 1st quarter of next year, with New York-based KKR acquiring 65% of the supermarket chain.

Japan’s Rakuten – which already set up an online grocery delivery service with Seiyu in 2018 – will buy 20% and set up a new subsidiary called Rakuten DX Solution focused on internet sales.

Walmart will keep the remaining shares in Seiyu, which was founded in the 1960s and has more than 300 stores in Japan.

The United States retail behemoth first acquired a stake in Seiyu in 2002 and later made it a wholly owned subsidiary despite poor financial results.

The agreement “will allow Seiyu to benefit from the combined business expertise of KKR, Rakuten, and Walmart…and accelerate its digital transformation,” Monday’s statement said. –

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