US retail giant Wal-Mart reportedly faces several obstacles to its planned purchase of the Brazilian operations of Dutch retail giant Ahold, and these may allow Companhia Brasileira de Distribuicao to get back in the running.
Wal-Mart is in advanced talks to buy Ahold’s Bompreco and G Barbosa supermarket chains in Brazil, but CBD is still believed to be in with a chance.
“Wal-Mart has pulled out in front but we don’t believe this is over by a long shot,” a person familiar with the matter was quoted by Dow Jones as saying. “Talks with Wal-Mart have hit some stumbling blocks and this is good for CBD,” the person added.
A court order issued by a judge in the northeastern state of Sergipe threatens to fine Ahold if it sells its two Brazilian supermarket chains together. An antitrust body, meanwhile, has advised Ahold to sell off part of its G Barbosa chain to avoid an overlap with Bompreco stores. A final ruling from the company’s competition authority has not yet been given.
Another obstacle lies in agreeing the terms of the sale, Dow Jones said, citing sources.