Feb 8, 2011
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Wal-Mart in talks on partnership with Matahari, Lotte pulls out-sources

Feb 8, 2011

Feb 8 - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is in talks to become a partner of Indonesian retailer PT Matahari Putra Prima to develop its hypermarts, though South Korea's Lotte Shopping Co Ltd has pulled out from talks, sources said on Tuesday.

Wal-Mart, Lotte
Hypermart is one of Matahari Putra Prima's units

Lippo Group, an Indonesian conglomerate which controls Matahari via PT Multipolar , last month scrapped plans to sell its Hypermart chain because of low offers and instead opted to seek a global partner to expand.

"Lotte is out due to disagreement over pricing and branding," said one of the four sources with direct knowledge of the deal, who declined to be identified because the details were not public.

"However, Wal-Mart is still in talks with the group on the possible partner deal."

Wal-Mart and Lotte had both been interested in buying the Hypermarket assets, along with French retailer Casino Guichard Perrachon SA and private equity group Carlyle Group , in a sale that Lippo had hoped would raise over $1 billion.

The partnership could still involve taking a significant stake in Matahari to gain control over the hypermarket assets, sources said.

Multipolar, which owns a 48 percent stake in Matahari, appointed Bank Of America Merrill Lynch to become its strategic advisor to seek a global partner for Matahari.

Hypermart is Indonesia's second-biggest hypermarket chain after PT Carrefour Indonesia, with 52 outlets in the world's fourth most populous nation, generating annual revenue of $1 billion.

(Reporting by Janeman Latul, Saeed Azhar and Park Jung Youn; Editing by Neil Chatterjee)

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