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Wal-Mart buys southern Brazilian chain

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – A decade after entering the Brazilian market, Wal-Mart Stores has purchased 140 hypermarkets, supermarkets and wholesale units from the Sonae retail chain in Porto Alegre, Brazil for approximately $757 million.

Formerly owned by Portuguese group Modelo Continente, Sonae has operations in the southern Brazilian states of Sao Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Parana, with roughly 20,000 employees.

According to Craig Herkert, president and CEO of Wal-Mart in the Americas, this purchase significantly strengthens Wal-Mart’s stake in Latin America by building on the September acquisition of a one-third interest in Central American Retail Holding Co., the region’s largest retailer. Wal-Mart Brazil will now have 295 units in 17 Brazilian states.

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