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Report: Wal-Mart in talks to partner with Indonesia's Matahari


Jakarta/Singapore -- Wal-Mart Stores is in talks to become a partner of Indonesian retailer PT Matahari Putra Prima to develop its hypermarts, according to Reuters.

South Korea's Lotte Shopping Co. has withdrawn from talks for a deal with Matahari, the report said. Matahari last month said it will seek a “global partner” to develop its hypermart business.

In January, Lippo Group, an Indonesian conglomerate which controls Matahari via PT Multipolar, abandoned 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 an unidentified Reuters source. “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,

the Reuters sources said.

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

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