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Aruba, June 11, 2018 - Walmart sells majority of Brazil unit, takes $4.5 billion charge

Walmart Inc (WMT.N) said on Monday that it has 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.

The world's biggest retailer has been looking to jumpstart its overseas business by retreating from lower-growth markets and investing in places like China and India. Brazil had for a decade been the focus of expansion but the unit stumbled in recent years as operational issues compounded the effects of a deep recession.

Walmart did not disclose the value of the transaction but said it would record a noncash charge of roughly $4.5 billion related to the deal in the second quarter. The retailer will retain the remaining 20 percent stake in Walmart Brazil.

Shares in Walmart rose more than 2 percent, with analysts saying the deal allows the company to focus on more promising markets.

Two people involved in the deal said that the charge is close to the value of the Brazilian unit on Walmart's books, meaning the deal value was close to zero. The sources declined to specify the exact value of the deal and one of the sources said the final value of liabilities was not yet determined.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the retailer will not receive payment for the unit but could receive up to $250 million from Advent based on the unit's performance. Walmart does not disclose detailed financial statements for Brazil.

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