The micro view
According to the Financial Times, Dow component Wal-Mart (WMT -0.63%) is in talks to acquire a controlling interest in Migros from London-based private-equity firm BC Partners. The deal would value Turkey's largest retailer by revenue at $4 billion on an enterprise basis (i.e., including debt). Migros has 888 stores in Turkey across three different formats: supermarkets, hypermarkets, and discount stores.
With a population approaching 75 million and a per-capita GDP that puts it ahead of Brazil and on par with Mexico, Turkey is certainly a promising market. However, Wal-Mart has had mixed success in venturing outside the U.S. In 2006, the company pulled out of Germany and South Korea. It currently faces bribery allegations in Mexico, and the ensuing internal investigation now encompasses Brazil, China, and India as well.
With a well-blanketed home market, Wal-Mart is not the only U.S. retailer that must look abroad if it is to maintain its growth trajectory. In their recent report on Costco (NASDAQ: COST), Motley Fool analysts Daniel Ferry and Isaac Pino identified international growth as one of the two key areas to watch, concluding that "if the growth model that it pioneered in North America is successful abroad, the company's best years could still be ahead of it."