The world's largest department stores chain Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced it will launch a tender offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares and American Depositary Shares of Chile's Distribución y Servicio D&S S.A.
The tender offer price is denominated at US$0.408 per common share. This offer price represents a premium of approximately 37.4% over the average closing price for the prior 30 trading days, said the Arkansas based corporation belonging to the Walton family. "Moving into Chile is an important step in implementing Wal-Mart International's strategy. We continue to focus on portfolio optimization, global leverage and winning in every market," said Michael T. Duke, vice chairman, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. "A successful tender offer will give Wal-Mart the opportunity to be a significant participant in Chile, which continues to have a strong and growing economy among South America countries." Wal-Mart has set as a minimum condition of the tender offer, the acquisition of at least 50.01% of D&S's fully-diluted common shares. In order to demonstrate their support for the offer, the Ibañez family, the existing controlling stockholders of D&S, have agreed to tender a portion of their D&S shares. These controlling shareholders will enter into a long-term stockholders' agreement with Wal-Mart regarding D&S, which will continue to operate with its existing leadership, associates and brands. According to Craig Herkert, President and CEO, the Americas, Wal-Mart International, "This investment demonstrates our deep respect for D&S, which has a long history of providing the best value to Chilean consumers. We share a laser focus on price leadership just as we do in Wal-Mart's 10 retail markets throughout the Americas. Both companies also have the same core values and business philosophies: respect for the individual, service to the customer and striving for excellence." Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom and, through a partnership, in India. D&S is a Chilean company whose stock is traded in the national and international Stock Exchanges. It is made up of a group of companies whose core business is food retail through different supermarket and hypermarket formats aimed at satisfying customers' diverse needs. It covers the whole country, from Arica to Punta Arenas.