Thursday, March 1, 2007

What's In A Name?

You've got to be kidding!
You can't make this stuff up if you try.
Wal-Mart buys 35% of China retail chain
Read the entire article at 
SHANGHAI: Wal-Mart Stores said Tuesday that it had acquired a 35 percent stake in one of China's biggest retailers in a bid to expand its presence in this country's fast-growing retail market.

After months of speculation about a deal, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said it had agreed to buy the stake in Bounteous, a Taiwan-owned group that operates more than 100 retail outlets in 34 cities in China under the name Trust-Mart.

The two retail giants will operate separately here, but eventually, Wal- Mart is expected to take full control of the company that operates all of Trust- Mart's stores.

China has the world's fastest-growing major economy and no dominant national retail chain, even though the country has a growing middle class that may now number close to 50 million.

Wal-Mart declined to say how much it paid, but people close to the deal said Wal-Mart had agreed to pay about $1 billion to assume managerial control of the Chinese retailer.

Wal-Mart already operates 73 stores with more than 37,000 employees in China.

Should Wal-Mart succeed in obtaining full control of Trust-Mart, it would be in striking distance to become the China's No.1 foreign retailer, a title currently held by its French rival Carrefour, which operates about 90 super stores here.

Despite the company's massive sourcing operation in China, Wal- Mart's retail operations in the country accounted for only a tiny fraction of its global sales, which were more than $344 billion last year.

One factor they will contend with is the presence of China's state-controlled unions, which are pushing their way into foreign-owned companies and retail operations.

Last year, Wal-Mart agreed to allow unions to be set up in nearly all of its stores in China.

Summarized by Copernic Summarizer


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