Wal-Mart's US$1 billion bid for domestic retailer Trust-Mart may struggle to get government approval even though the target company is foreign-controlled, lawyers told the Financial Times Tuesday. The US retailer currently leads the bidders, which include its fierce rival Carrefour, in the race to take over China's second biggest foreign hypermarket chain. The major shareholders in Trust-Mart are all from Taiwan but, given the strict new rules on foreign investment, lawyers say regulatory scrutiny is inevitable. "It is unavoidable given the current environment," said Patrick Hu, a lawyer at the Shanghai office of Jones Day. "The deal will have to go through a lot of different government procedures." Trust-Mart generated sales of US$1.4 billion last year from its 100 stores located in more than 20 Chinese cities. The deal could make Wal-Mart, which has 66 of its own China outlets, the biggest hypermarket operator in the country.
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