TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. retailer Walmart Inc (WMT.N) has decided to sell Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu and has already approached major retailers and private equity funds, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday.
If realised, the sale could amount to around 300 billion to 500 billion yen ($2.7 billion to $4.5 billion), the Nikkei said, without citing its sources.
Walmart said it does not comment on market speculation.
The world’s biggest retailer said last month it had sold an 80 percent stake in its Brazilian operations to private equity firm Advent International, exiting an underperforming business in its third major international deal since April.
Walmart has been looking to jumpstart its overseas business by retreating from lower-growth markets and investing in places like China and India.
In addition to competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com, retailers in Japan are grappling with sluggish consumer spending as the country struggles to escape from 15 years of deflation.
Other global retail giants have also exited Japan, including Tesco (TSCO.L) in 2011 and Carrefour (CARR.PA) in 2005.
Reporting by Kaori Kaneko in TOKYO and Nivedita Balu in BENGALURU; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Stephen Coates