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Wal-Mart acquires 35% stake in Trust-Mart stores

Mar '07
Wal-Mart Stores Inc announced an agreement under which Wal-Mart has purchased a 35 percent interest in Bounteous Company Ltd (BCL) which operates hypermarkets in China under the Trust-Mart banner. As a leading hypermarket operator, BCL 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 – serving our customers with improved service, high quality, innovative products and lower prices.”

Trust-Mart Chairman John Yu added, “This alliance positions us to offer even higher levels of customer service to our 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 future.

Wal-Mart China operates 68 Supercenters, three SAM'S CLUBs and two Neighborhood Markets in 36 Chinese cities. It has more than 37,000 associates and was recently cited bythe 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.


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