Walmart Inc. is selling most of Japanese retailer Seiyu GK to KKR & Co. and Rakuten Inc. in a deal the companies said values the business at ¥172.5 billion ($1.6 billion), as the U.S. giant retreats from its two-decade attempt to crack Japan’s retail market.
Under the agreement, private equity fund KKR will become the majority owner with a 65% stake, while Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten takes 20%, the companies said in a statement Monday. Walmart will retain a 15% minority interest.
Rakuten and KKR will seek to shore up Seiyu’s digital operations as demand for online retail grows in Japan amid the pandemic. The new owners are retaining a previously announced plan to relist Seiyu in the future.