Wal-Mart to enter Central America

The Miami Herald and many other papers carried the news that Wal-Mart has purchased a major interest in Central America's largest retailer:
Wal-Mart Stores, the world's biggest retailer, is buying a one-third stake in Central American Retail Holding Co. from Dutch retailer Royal Ahold NV and could eventually become a majority owner.

Terms of the deal announced Tuesday were not disclosed.

Central American Retail is the largest retailer in the region with 363 supermarkets and other stores spread among Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It has 23,000 workers and had 2004 sales of $2 billion.

The pact states Wal-Mart will buy a greater interest in the company with the goal of becoming a majority owner.

La Prensa Grafica carries a long article about the announcement, with a focus on Wal-Mart's statements that it will bring the Wal-Mart's expertise in logistics and distribution to the operation, and that consumers would eventually see lower prices as a result.