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July 31, 2006

AUSTRALIA: Wal-Mart reportedly eyeing Oz expansion

Wal-Mart is reportedly investigating the possibility of expanding into Australia and has sent a team of executives Down Under in the hunt for acquisitions. However, the CEO of Coles has said that, apart from press speculation, he is unaware of any interest the world’s largest retailer may have in either Coles or Woolworths.

Wal-Mart is reportedly investigating the possibility of expanding into Australia and has sent a team of executives Down Under in the hunt for acquisitions. However, the CEO of Coles has said that, apart from press speculation, he is unaware of any interest the world’s largest retailer may have in either Coles or Woolworths.


According to a report in the UK’s Sunday Telegraph, Wal-Mart is close to making its first acquisition in Australia, citing information from an unnamed executive close to the company.


Speculation has followed that Wal-Mart is eyeing either Coles Myer, who today (31 July) announced its plan to restructure and rebrand retail operations, or Woolworths. However, John Fletcher, Coles chief executive, told a media briefing that UK reports were the first he had heard linking the US retail giant to either Australian company.


He added that he would expect the world’s biggest retailer “to have an interest in most market places around the world.”


At time of press, Wal-Mart was unavailable for comment.

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