San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Wal-Mart Mexico announces acquisition of Central American affiliate

Wal-Mart Mexico announced Monday that it will acquire Wal-Mart Central America within the next few weeks.

Shareholders of Wal-Mart Mexico will acquire 51 percent of the shares of Wal-Mart Central America, while the remaining 49 percent will remain distributed among minority shareholders throughout the region. Wal-Mart Central America is the leading operator of supermarkets in the region, with locations in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

“We are uniting two important businesses,” said Doug McMillon, the president and CEO of Wal-Mart International. “This will improve the level of cooperation in the area and offer better service to our clients in Latin America.”

Wal-Mart Central America manages 519 stores and 11 distribution centers. Wal-Mart International reports that sales for the Central American locations have totaled more than $3.3 billion over the past 12 months.

In Costa Rica, Wal-Mart employs about 9,200 people in the Palí, Más x Menos, Hipermás and Maxi Bodega grocery stores, all of which are owned by Wal-Mart. In the Central American region, Wal-Mart employs more than 30,000 people.

In Mexico, Wal-Mart has close to 1,500 locations throughout the country.

Marcos Samaha, the president and CEO of Wal-Mart Central America, will continue to lead the regional operation and will join the board of directors for Wal-Mart Mexico. The acquisition and restructuring process is expected to be completed by the end of the month. Wal-Mart did not indicate whether there will be job reductions.

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