Wal-Mart has purchased a 35 percent interest in Bounteous Company, which operates hypermarkets in China under the Trust-Mart banner.
As a leading hypermarket operator, Bounteous has 101 Trust-Mart retail stores in 34 cities in China.
"Through this investment in Trust-Mart we have the opportunity to expand our presence in China, one of the world's fastest growing retail markets," said Wal-Mart Vice Chairman Michael Duke. "This is an important step in bringing additional scale to our China retail business and enabling us to do what we do best â€“ serving our customers with improved service, high quality and innovative products, and lower prices."
Trust-Mart Chairman John Yu added, "This alliance positions Trust-Mart to offer even higher levels of customer service to Trust-Mart's loyal customers as we benefit from Wal-Mart's expertise in logistics and operations. It also will give our suppliers new opportunities to expand in China and potentially become part of Wal-Mart's global vendor network."
Trust-Mart stores, which have more than 31,000 employees, will continue to operate under the Trust-Mart banner and both companies plan to continue new store expansion. Subject to certain conditions, Wal-Mart will acquire ownership control in the future.
Wal-Mart China operates 68 Supercenters, 3 SAM'S CLUBs, and 2 Neighborhood Markets in 36 cities in China. It has more than 37,000 associates and was recently cited by the China Chain Store & Franchise Association as one of the "2006 China Retail Industry's Best Employers."
Financial advisors were Credit Suisse for Wal-Mart and UBS Investment Bank for Trust-Mart.