Walmart sells 85% stake in Seiyu to Rakuten and KKR
KKR will buy a 65% stake in the grocery chain, whilst Rakuten will get 20%.
Walmart is selling a 85% stake in Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu to Rakuten and American investment firm KKR in a deal valuing the business at $1.6b (¥172.5b), according to a press release.
Under the terms of the agreement, KKR will buy a 65% stake in Seiyu, and Rakuten will acquire a 20% stake, through a newly created subsidiary focused on retailer digital transformation. Walmart will retain a 15% stake in Seiyu.
KKR and Rakuten's plans for Seiyu include an accelerated investment in digital channels to facilitate app-based shopping, payment and delivery services, as well as an introduction of new options for cashless payment.
Seiyu CEO Lionel Desclee will continue to lead the business through a transition period, after which he will take on a new role within Walmart. A new board will be formed, comprised of representatives from KKR, Rakuten and Walmart, and they will appoint a new CEO after the transaction closes.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.