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BENTONVILLE, Ark. and TOKYO -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said yesterday it's launching a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of its Japanese subsidiary, The Seiyu, Ltd., that it does not already own. The offer is being made with the endorsement of the Seiyu board of directors, which passed a resolution of support, according to the retailing giant.
The tender offer price is 140 yen per common share. Wal-Mart currently owns 50.9 percent of Seiyu. The tender offer represents an additional investment by Wal-Mart of up to 100 billion yen (approximately $862 million).
"Today's announcement is a reaffirmation of our commitment to Japan, the second largest economy in the world," said Mike Duke, vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., in a statement. "The Japanese retail market is of major strategic importance to Wal-Mart, and our goal is to achieve long-term success and growth in Japan."
Beginning today, the tender offer will be open for 30 business days, closing on Dec. 4, 2007. Wal-Mart said its minimum objective through the tender offer is to achieve ownership of at least two thirds of Seiyu's common shares. Following a successful tender offer, Wal-Mart intends to take additional steps to acquire all of the remaining shares, which would result in the delisting of Seiyu shares from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Seiyu and Wal-Mart entered into an alliance in May 2002. Wal-Mart became the majority owner of Seiyu at the end of 2005.
The Seiyu, Ltd. is a leading Japanese retailer, with major operations in supermarkets and general merchandising stores. As of August 2007, the Seiyu Group operates 393 stores located throughout Japan.