Back in early November we told you that Walmart was interested in the Indonesian hypermarket retailer Matahari, owned by the Lippo Group, an Indonesian conglomerate which controls Matahari via PT Multipolar. Those talks failed, but Walmart is still interested.

From Reuters:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc is in talks to become a partner of Indonesian retailer PT Matahari Putra Prima to develop its hypermarts, though South Korea’s Lotte Shopping Co Ltd has pulled out from talks, sources said on Tuesday.

Lippo Group, an Indonesian conglomerate which controls Matahari via PT Multipolar , last month scrapped plans to sell its Hypermart chain because of low offers and instead opted to seek a global partner to expand.

“Lotte is out due to disagreement over pricing and branding,” said one of the four sources with direct knowledge of the deal, who declined to be identified because the details were not public.

“However, Wal-Mart is still in talks with the group on the possible partner deal.”

Wal-Mart and Lotte had both been interested in buying the Hypermarket assets, along with French retailer Casino Guichard Perrachon SA and private equity group Carlyle Group , in a sale that Lippo had hoped would raise over $1 billion.

The partnership could still involve taking a significant stake in Matahari to gain control over the hypermarket assets, sources said.

Indonesia’s population is slightly less than the United States and at 242 million, the World’s largest Islamic nation. Inroads there could help Walmart to penetrate countries in the Middle East, as well as other island nation in the Pacific Southeast.

Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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