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Wal-Mart sells South Korea business

Shinsegae to pay $872 million for 16 stores

SEOUL, South Korea - Shinsegae Co., a South Korean department store and discount chain operator, said Monday it will buy the South Korean operations of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for 825 billion won, or $872 million.

Shinsegae plans to operate Wal-Mart Korea as a separate subsidiary and the stores will be renamed to E-Mart, the name of Shinsegae's discount store chain, it said in a statement.

Wal-Mart Korea is a 100 percent-owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart with 16 stores in South Korea.

Shinsegae's E-Mart chain accounts for 30 percent of the local discount store market, according to analysts.

The announcement of the sale came less than a month after Carrefour SA of France, the world's second-largest retailer after Wal-Mart, sold its local unit to E.Land Group, an unlisted South Korean retailer, for 1.75 trillion won ($1.8 billion).
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