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Wal-Mart to buy stake in Japanese chain

Wal-Mart has received shareholder approval from Seiyu, a Japanese retail chain with more than $8 billion in sales, to acquire up to a 66.7 percent ownership stake in Seiyu by the end of 2007. The series of options would be worth approximately $2.0 billion. Wal-Mart will make an immediate investment worth 6.1 percent of Seiyu, or $46.0 million. According to John Menzer, president and ceo, Wal-Mart International, Wal-Mart will now continue its "learning stage" in Japan. Sumitomo Corp., a Japanese trading house, is also involved in the deal, and its additional investment will give it approximately 15.6 percent ownership in Seiyu. names eight new board members, the online retail group of the National Retail Federations (NRF) has elected eight new members to its board. With the new electees, there are 15 total members. Joining the board as retail members are Bill Bass, senior vp, e-commerce and international, Lands' End; Julia Bornstein, vp, e-commerce, Nordstrom; Gene Domecus, senior vp, e-commerce, Direct; Dennis Honan, vp and general manager, customer direct, Sears; Monica Luechtefeld, executive vp, e-commerce, Office Depot; and Susan Neal, vp, business development, Gymboree. Joining the board as associate members are Elaine Rubin, partner, Retail Options, and Julie Michaelson, vp, retail interactive marketing, American Online Inc.

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