Unidentified insider sources tell Reuters that Walmart (WMT) could soon make a bid for a large Chinese retailer.
America’s largest discount chain is mulling a potential bid for ParknShop, owned by Li Ka-shing, who was named the wealthiest man in Asia by Forbes in 2012. A number of private equity firms including The Blackstone Group (BX) and KKR (KKR), and rival retailers are contemplating bids for the chain, which has an estimated value of $4 billion.
ParknShop has 345 stores across China and Hong Kong. The chain generated $2.8 billion in sales last year. A deadline of August 16 has been established for preliminary bids.
Walmart has targeted China as a market for growth. It opened its first store in China in 1996 currently operates 380 locations in the country. Walmart plans to add 100 new stores in China by 2015. The chain has seen its growth stall in recent years.
ParknShop is run by Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa company, which is receiving guidance on the sale from Goldman Sachs (GS) and Bank of America (BAC).
Shares of Walmart fell modestly in pre-market trading on Wednesday.