Walmart has sold a majority stake in its UK business Asda, described as the US-based retailer's last major European outpost. Asda's new owners are a private equity firm and two brothers, co-founders of a major gas station and convenience store chain. They intend to invest over a billion dollars in the retailer's operations. Walmart will remain as a strategic partner and board member.
With the sale of Asda, Walmart's retreat from Europe is nearly complete; the retailer exited Germany in 2006. Recent investments on the part of the retailer show that Walmart has its sights set elsewhere.
Charlie O'Shea, senior credit officer at Moody's, said the deal will allow Walmart to focus on international markets with more "long-term upside," such as India and China.