Walmart to Buy TV Maker Visio




Walmart (NYSE:WMT) made waves Tuesday by announcing it is buying TV maker Vizio (NYSE:VZIO), as the largest U.S. retailer grows its high-profit ad business.

Walmart will acquire Vizio for $2.3 billion, or $11.50 per share, in cash. The big-box retailer announced the acquisition as it reported its fourth-quarter earnings.

Vizio shares, which spiked after reports of the deal first emerged last week, closed at $9.53 on Friday. They jumped $1.46 , or 15.3%, to $10.98 in early Tuesday.

WMT shares hiked $9.28, or 5.5%, to $179.64.

Walmart and its Sam’s Club warehouse chain have long been major sellers of Vizio devices. But in buying the company, Walmart touted the potential to boost its ad business through Vizio’s SmartCast Operating System, which allows users to stream free ad-supported content on their TVs.

As it pushes for higher profits, the retail titan has tried to expand its media business Walmart Connect, which comes with bigger profit margins than selling groceries or clothing. The segment’s advertising sales grew 22% in the fourth quarter.

“We believe VIZIO’s customer-centric operating system provides great viewing experiences at attractive price points. We also believe it enables a profitable advertising business that is rapidly scaling,” said Seth Dallaire, executive vice president and chief revenue officer of Walmart U.S., in a statement.



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