Wal-Mart buys Brazil stores for expansion

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

SAO PAULO, Brazil - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. took a firm step Wednesday toward boosting its presence in Latin America, buying 140 Brazilian hypermarkets, supermarkets and wholesale outlets from a Portuguese conglomerate.

The $764 million purchase from Sonae SGPS SA fits into Wal-Mart's strategy of rapid overseas growth.

"We will continue to be opportunistic and look at both organic growth and mergers and acquisitions opportunities around the world," Craig Herket, president of Wal-Mart Americas, said at a news conference.

Herket and other Wal-Mart executives declined to identify other countries that Wal-Mart may target in Latin America.

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