Bentonville, Ark. -- A Friday report by Reuters said that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. disclosed an agreement Thursday to sell more than 70 million shares by a firm controlled by members of the founding Walton family.
Walton Enterprises LLC, controlled by S. Robson Walton, Alice L. Walton, Jim C. Walton and the John T. Walton Estate Trust, registered for sale 70,615,608 shares of company stock. That represents about 2% of Wal-Mart's outstanding shares.
The 70.6 million shares were registered on behalf of several Walton charitable trusts. The stock will be re-sold by these trusts periodically through the end of 2017.
The descendants of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton currently own about 49% of the company. These sales will reduce that stake by about two percentage points.
However, Wal-Mart is in the midst of share buyback program, so it's unclear what portion of the company the Waltons will end up owning after the share sales are completed.