Walmart (WMT -0.29%) is slimming down in South America. On Friday, the company announced that it is selling its Argentina business to a regional peer, Grupo de Narvaez, that has operations in Ecuador and Uruguay in addition to Argentina.
Walmart did not specify the price nor many of the key terms of the agreement between it and the South American company. It also did not delve into the reasons for the divestment.
The U.S. retailer has been active in Argentina since 1995. It says it is currently the ninth largest private employer there, with over 9,000 workers on its payroll. The company operates a total of 92 stores, plus one distribution center, and a trio of bakery, meat, and cold-cut production facilities.
Although Walmart will not retain any equity stake in the business, it did say it would continue to support it during the transition to the new ownership.
The company quoted its CEO of Walmart International Judith McKenna as saying that "We are excited by the local retail expertise the new owners bring to this already strong business, and we believe this deal creates the right structure to help it truly flourish for many years."
Even after the Argentina divestment, Walmart will still have a strong presence abroad. In fact, the number of stores outside of its native U.S. will continue to top its American count. According to the company's numbers, it has 11,484 outlets (including its Sam's Club warehouse stores); of that figure, 6,132 are located outside of our borders.
On Friday, Walmart's shares rose by 1.6%, which bettered the flat performance of the S&P 500 index on the day.