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CALIFORNIA | BRIEFLY: RETAILING

Wal-Mart to Settle Suit With Mexican Firm

May 18, 1999| Bloomberg News

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, has agreed to settle a lawsuit that produced a $624-million jury award over the breakup of a distribution partnership with a Mexican company. Terms of the settlement with Valores Corp., Mexico's second-largest grocery wholesaler, weren't released, though Wal-Mart agreed to pay "less than the verdict," said spokesman Jay Allen. A Texas state court jury found that Wal-Mart and its McLane Co. unit acted with malice when they broke a 25-year agreement to handle grocery-store distribution in Mexico in partnership with Monterrey, Mexico-based Valores. Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart said reserves would cover some of the settlement, and it also will take a charge of about 3 cents a share in the fiscal second quarter, which would amount to roughly $133.5 million. Wal-Mart shares fell 69 cents to close at $45.69 on the NYSE.

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