U.S. retailer Walmart Inc <WMT.N> has decided to sell Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu and has already approached major retailers and private equity funds, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday, Euronews reports.
If realised, the sale could amount to around 300 billion to 500 billion yen (2.05 billion pounds to 3.41 billion pounds), the Nikkei said, without citing its sources.
Walmart said it does not comment on market speculation.
A sale would be the latest exit by Walmart from a lower-growth market as it looks to shake up its overseas business and invest in places like China and India.
The world’s biggest retailer said last month it had 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.
In addition to competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com <AMZN.O>, Japan’s supermarkets are being squeezed by chains such as convenience stores and discount drugstores in a sluggish consumption environment.
In January Walmart said it was launching an online grocery service with Rakuten Inc <4755.T>, in what Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani said he hoped may be a precursor to greater global cooperation.
Walmart has struggled to replicate the success of its low-price model with Seiyu despite the introduction of an “everyday low price” pledge and frequent discounting.