London Wal-Mart Stores has sold off its Asda unit, according to published reports, to Corinth, a holding company that previously had been a subsidiary of Asda, for about $9.6 billion.
A Wal-Mart spokesman is reported as saying that the company will on occasion alter the ownership structure of its businesses as appropriate. This is the first time ownership of Asda has changed under Wal-Mart.
Wal-Mart has not said why it executed the change in ownership structure.
Filings in the United Kingdom showed that Asda had 2008 profits of about $873 million, down slightly from a year ago.