Walmart Inc. is buying a small stake in Japanese e-commerce and entertainment company Rakuten Inc., which recently bought 20% of Walmart's Japanese unit Seiyu.
In a bid to raise $2.2 billion in capital, Rakuten said in a news release Friday that it will issue 211.7 million shares valued at $10.50 apiece.
Walmart will buy 14.5 million shares, or 0.9%, the Bentonville-based retailer said in its own news release Friday. That's an investment of about $153 million in a company Walmart has partnered with for several years.
Japan Post Holdings Co. will buy an 8.3% stake, and Chinese social media company Tencent Holdings Ltd. is buying a 3.65% stake.
Judith McKenna, who heads Walmart International, said the company is "making strategic equity investments to enable Walmart to benefit from future growth in a changing global retail environment."
Walmart and Rakuten teamed up in 2018 to start an online grocery delivery service in Japan and to sell e-books and e-readers in Walmart's U.S. stores. Walmart has also worked with Tencent, using its messaging app for Walmart's grocery delivery service in China.
Walmart shares rose $1.99, or 1.5%, to close Friday at $134.12.