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  • Wal-Mart announced that it will increase its stake in Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu Ltd. to just over 34 percent, from its current 6.1 percent position. Wal-Mart will pay the equivalent of about $421.1 million (US) for the acquisition of shares, which puts it on track to become the first foreign firm to take control of a Japanese retailer.

    The move follows eight months of comprehensive study by Wal-Mart of Seiyu’s business procedures, and analysis of what benefits Wal-Mart could bring to the table and derive from expanded ownership.

    "Japan is a very important market for Wal-Mart," John Menzer, president and CEO of Wal-Mart International, said. "Seiyu is a good fit for us and a good base for our business model."

  • Steven J. Heyer has been named president and COO of The Coca-Cola Company, making him the company’s heir apparent for the CEO job currently occupied by Douglas Daft. Heyer has been with Coke for just two years; previously, he was president and CEO of AOL Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting division. Since then, he as led Coca-Cola Venture, and run Coke's Latin American division.

  • The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. reportedly continues to pave the way for expansion of its limited assortment, deep discount Food Basics format, negotiating with the unions and looking for real estate in Connecticut to accommodate the stores. A&P thus far has converted five stores in New Jersey and one in New York to the format, with plans to convert many of it’s A&P units to Food Basics.

  • Costco Wholesale Corp. this morning posted quarterly earnings that were up 12 percent on sales that were up nine percent. Company earnings reached $145.7 million for the first fiscal quarter, compared with $129.7 million in the year-ago period. Net sales for the quarter rose to $9.0 billion from $8.3 billion.

    Same-store sales were up four percent.

  • Roundy’s will acquire Wisconsin-based Prescott’s Supermarkets. Prescott’s operates seven Pic ’n Save stores, which will add to the four Pic ’n Saves that Roundy’s acquired earlier this year and the three Rainbow stores it recently acquired from Fleming Cos.

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