FINANCE

Done deal for Walmart Brazil

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Global private equity firm Advent International has acquired a majority stake in Walmart Brazil.

Under the terms of the agreement, the private equity firm now owns an 80% equity stake in Walmart Brazil. The discount giant has retained a 20% stake in the business. Walmart did not reveal the value of the deal.

Advent has a strong local presence and extensive experience in retail investment both in Brazil and internationally. Since 1997, the private equity fund has completed 75 investments in 22 countries.

When Walmart announced it was entering the deal in June, the discounter expected Advent to grow the division.

Walmart Brazil operates 438 stores throughout the country.

This is Walmart’s latest international deal. In April, the discount giant announced plans to sell its wholly-owned U.K. subsidiary, Asda Group Ltd., to J Sainsbury PLC in a deal valued at about $10 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, which is subject to various approvals, Walmart would hold a 42% share of the combined business.

In May, Walmart signed a definitive agreement to buy an initial stake of approximately 77% in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart for $16 billion. Later that month, SoftBank Group Corp. said it would sell its roughly 20% stake in Flipkart to Walmart. While the company didn’t disclose terms of the sale, SoftBank’s investment in Flipkart was worth around $4 billion.

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Publix’s Q2 earnings rise amid lower tax rate and new accounting rule

BY Marianne Wilson

Publix Super Market’s sales and earnings rose in the second quarter despite a calendar shift in the timing of the Easter calendar.

The grocer’s net income rose to 24.5% to $616.2 million, or 84 cents per share, from $495.1 million, or 65 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Publix noted that earnings were boosted by a decrease in the federal statutory income tax rate, from 35% to 21%, when the new tax law went into effect this year, as well as by a new accounting standard.

Sales rose 4% to $8.4 billion. Comparable-store sales rose 1.7%, with a negative impact of 1.2% from the Easter holiday being in the first quarter in 2018 versus in the second quarter last year, the company noted.

As of Aug. 1, Publix’s stock price rose from $41.75 per share to $42.55 per share. (The company’s stock is not publicly traded and is sold only to current associates and members of its board of directors.)

“Since the beginning of the year, our stock price has increased from $36.85 to $42.55, over 15%,” Todd Jones, president and CEO of Publix, said in a statement. “Our associates deserve the credit for continuing to make us a leader in customer service.”

Publix operates 1,190 stores throughout Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

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Kroger reportedly considering extending Visa ban

BY CSA Staff

The Kroger Co. is at odds with Visa over swipe fees.

The supermarket giant will no longer accept Visa credit cards at 26 stores and gas stations that operate under its Foods Co. banner, reported Barrons.com, which cited a report by Bloomberg. The report said that Kroger is considering expanding the ban to other stores.

Chris Hjelm, Kroger’s chief information officer, told Bloomberg that that card fees are “out of alignment” and “we don’t believe we have a choice but to use whatever mechanism possible to get it back in alignment.”

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