Walmart Inc. is letting its Argentina business go.
The retailer said Friday that it plans to sell its Argentina subsidiary, which started in 1995, to Grupo de Narváez, which runs food, clothing and consumer goods retail businesses in Latin American countries.
The company didn’t disclose the price tag of the deal, though it indicated in a regulatory filing that it expects a “non-cash loss of approximately $1 billion, after tax, in the third quarter of fiscal 2021, primarily due to cumulative foreign currency translation losses.”
Walmart’s Argentina business comprises more than 9,000 associates, according to the retailer’s statement. Some of its store formats will stay the same while others will be rebranded, the company said. The retailer said also that it would not keep an equity stake in the business.
“The company will remain one of Argentina’s largest employers and will continue to work closely with suppliers to provide the best value for customers, maintaining its commitment to supporting domestic suppliers and small businesses,” the retailer said in a statement.
“The Changomas, Mi Changomas and Punto Mayorista banners will continue to serve customers in Argentina, following the transaction. Walmart Supercenters will be rebranded following a transition period,” it said.
“The company’s performance and dedication of its incredible associates through the COVID-19 pandemic have demonstrated the fundamental strength and resilience of the business, and we are thrilled to support the team, drive long-term growth and create new opportunities for associates and suppliers across Argentina,” said Grupo de Narváez chief executive officer Fernando Minaudo.
Walmart’s deal follows the retail giant’s disclosure last month that it was selling its English supermarket chain Asda in a 6.8 billion pound deal to the Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital LLP. In that case, Walmart said it would maintain an equity stake.
Walmart’s revenues have been buoyed this year by virtue of being one of the major retailers whose stores were deemed an “essential business” during pandemic lockdowns, and able to stay open. When Walmart reported revenues for the second quarter of fiscal year 2021 in August, the retailer said consolidated net income for the three months ending July 31 was $6.48 billion, a nearly 80 percent increase from last year.
As the COVID-19 infection count in the U.S. has now soared to a record of more than 120,000 new daily cases, according to the latest Johns Hopkins University tally, the retailer’s doors remain open. More than 235,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the U.S. this year, according to the Johns Hopkins tally.