UPDATE 2-Wal-Mart buys some former Target Canada stores

Fri May 8, 2015 7:53am EDT
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(Adds Wal-Mart comment, background)

May 8 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Canadian unit said it would buy some store leases and other assets formerly held by the Canadian arm of Target Corp and renovate them for about C$350 million ($289 million).

Wal-Mart said in February it planned to invest about C$340 million this year to boost its presence in Canada.

The company said on Friday it would acquire a Target Canada distribution center, 12 store leases and an owned property for C$165 million. It expects to invest about C$185 million on their renovation.

Organizations owed money by Target Canada controlled the sale, Alex Roberton, Wal-Mart Canada's director of corporate affairs, told Reuters.

Target was not immediately available for comment.

Wal-Mart, which plans to hire about 3,400 associates in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, said it expects to generate about 1,500 trade and construction jobs in Canada.

Target, The No. 2 U.S. discount chain, exited Canada last month after struggling since its March 2013 launch there, resulting in 17,000 employees losing their jobs and triggering a $5.1 billion quarterly charge.

Target Canada, which said it would close the last of its 133 retail stores on April 12, had said the real estate sales process was expected to be completed by June.   Continued...