As Walmart refocuses its worldwide operations, Advent International plans to take a 80 percent stake in the retailer’s business in Brazil. With such a deal, Walmart would keep a 20 percent stake in the company, and the retailer would utilize Advent’s regional expertise, CNBC reported.
“We’re being thoughtful and deliberate as we assess our portfolio and make decisions about where and how we’ll grow,” Walmart International CFO Brett Biggs said. “We’re continually reviewing our portfolio, and, consistent with that, we’re currently considering options for our business in Brazil.”
The move comes as Walmart pushes forward in some regions and retreats in others. Walmart had said it would exit from part of its stake in Britain’s Asda by merging the grocer with J Sainsbury. Yet earlier last month, the retailer announced a $16 billion acquisition of Flipkart.
The news also comes as Walmart is investing about $316 million in its Brazilian Walmart locations over a two-year period to remodel 120 of its stores in the country. Walmart, which is the third-biggest diversified retailer in Brazil, has already launched its remodel program and expects to continue the upgrades in Brazil through 2019, according to news from Reuters in 2017.
The company already performed 10 percent of the refurbishments, said Flavio Cotini, CEO of Walmart’s Brazilian unit, to reporters attending the LATAM Retail Show in 2017. Brazil’s biggest grocer, Grupo Carrefour Brasil SA, is doubling its store count through 2020, while Walmart rival GPA SA is renovating its stores in a bid to welcome consumers who are ready to spend money again following a long Brazilian recession in the economy, according to Reuters.
During the first quarter of 2017, Brazil’s economy grew by 1 percent, ending the country’s nearly two-year recession, which was the longest recession in the Latin American nation’s history, the BBC said. As of June 2017, about 14 million Brazilians were still unemployed in the wake of the economic downturn. However, companies are getting back to creating jobs, and employment is starting to pick up, prompting retailers like Walmart to try and entice shoppers with fresh remodels.