May 22, 2011 / 2:52 PM / 9 years ago

Walmart eyeing Europe with new London team: paper

Shopping carts are seen outside a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Coolidge, Arizona December 6, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott

LONDON (Reuters) - Retailer Wal-Mart Stores (WMT.N) is setting up a team in London to drive expansion into Europe, The Independent on Sunday newspaper reported.

The world’s largest retailer will bring a team to London to look at opportunities for European mergers and takeovers, and has hired Cushman & Wakefield to search for office space for 35-55 people, the newspaper said.

Wal-Mart said in first-quarter results published on Tuesday that key U.S. sales fell 1.1 percent. At Asda, its British arm, sales growth slowed.

A Wal-Mart spokeswoman told Reuters the report was “speculation dressed up as fact.” (Reporting by Lorraine Turner; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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