Wal-Mart Establishes Private Equity Fund to Drive Women and Minority-Owned Business Growth $25 Million Commitment Announced at National Association of Investment

Companies Conference as Company Deepens Commitment to Supplier Diversity



    BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- As part of its
 continuing commitment to supplier diversity and the communities it serves,
 Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:   WMT) on Monday announced that it will invest $25
 million to establish a private equity fund that will directly issue equity
 investments in women and minority-owned business enterprises.  Wal-Mart
 unveiled the new fund at the 2005 National Association of Investment Companies
 (NAIC) conference in San Diego.
     The co-investment management fund, which will have an allocation life of
 five years, will be managed by Dallas-based Aldus Equity to provide equity
 capital to women and minority-owned business enterprises seeking capital for
 acquisitions, joint ventures and other growth and expansion initiatives.
 Prospective investment candidates must either operate companies or be in the
 process of acquiring companies that distribute or have the capacity to
 distribute products and services to major retailers.  Investment candidates
 must also be certified as minority or women-owned or minority-controlled
 businesses as defined by the National Minority Supplier Development Council
 (NMSDC) and the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
     According to NAIC, although minorities account for 30 percent of the U.S.
 population, less than 2 percent of all venture and private equity funds are
 invested in minority companies.
     "Even though small businesses are one of the fastest growing sectors of
 the economy, access to capital remains a key barrier to growth for women and
 minority-owned businesses," said Jay Fitzsimmons, senior vice president of
 finance and treasurer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  "By creating this fund we help
 fill a significant void and can have a positive impact on those businesses
 that are ready and able to move to that next level of national and
 international distribution for retailers."
     "This fund complements and extends our company's long-standing supplier
 diversity programs," said Esther Silver-Parker, vice president diversity
 relations, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.  "While many leading corporations are
 decreasing their vendor base, we are looking to assist those unique
 entrepreneurs who have talent and capacity not only to serve Wal-Mart, but
 also to help drive supplier diversity throughout the retail sector."
     At the conference, NAIC-member firms were invited to recommend prospective
 investment candidates.  Aldus will manage all aspects of the investment
 application and review process.  Business owners can apply for funding by
 forwarding a brief description of the business and financing opportunity to
 coinvestmentfund@aldusequity.com.  Fund managers anticipate the first
 investments will be completed within the next three to six months and
 investing in a total of five to nine companies over the life of the fund.
     "Aldus maintains a strong commitment to investing in minority markets and
 is proud to have the opportunity to invest in a select group of companies that
 demonstrate the promise of becoming major suppliers," said Marcellus Taylor,
 founding partner, Aldus Equity.  "The funds, provided by Wal-Mart as well as
 other investors, will serve as an invaluable resource to talented minority and
 women entrepreneurs seeking to expand their businesses."
     Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood
 Markets and SAM'S CLUB locations in the United States.  The company also
 operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador,
 Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, South
 Korea and the United Kingdom.  The company's securities are listed on the New
 York and Pacific stock exchanges under the symbol WMT.  More information about
 Wal-Mart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartfacts.com .  Online
 merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com .
     Aldus Equity is a Dallas-based boutique private equity advisory firm.
 Aldus currently manages over $1 billion of private equity assets on behalf of
 some of the largest pension funds in the nation including New York Common, New
 Mexico State Investment Council and Louisiana State Employees Retirement
 System.  Since 1998, the firm's partners have directed over $5 billion of
 private equity investments.  Aldus is proud to be an independent firm that is
 entirely owned by its employees.
 
 

SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

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