Helen and Sam Walton’s children divest $407 million of Wal-Mart stock

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 662 views 

(from left) Jim, Helen and Rob Walton

Jim and Rob Walton, along with their sister Alice Walton recently transferred ownership of 6.7 million shares of their personal stock holdings in Wal-Mart Stores, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Walton children transferred their shares to a newly created entity, Walton Family Holdings Trust. Jim and Rob each gave away 1.5 million shares, while Alice’s transfer included 3.7 million shares, according to the SEC records. The beneficiary trust is tasked with the family’s philanthropic activities and will liquidate the shares in the future.
The street value of the shares on the day of the gifts (Dec. 28) was roughly $407 million.

The move was not unexpected. In April 2015, Walton Enterprises said it would gradually distribute about 6% of its  outstanding Wal-Mart stock – 193.5 million shares – to the Walton Family Holdings Trust because the family’s ownership stake had almost climbed to a 50% threshold. The family has said they do not want to their holdings to surpass the 50% level of the retailer’s outstanding shares.

The retailer has said it will aggressively repurchase its shares over the next three years, while earnings will be hindered by investments in wage increases and e-commerce fulfillment infrastructure.

Alice, Jim and Rob Walton each have a net worth of more than $30 billion, according to Forbes’ 2015 list of wealthiest people, but their Wal-Mart shares have plunged more than 28% in value during 2015.

Shares of Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) closed Tuesday (Jan. 5) at $62.92, up $1.46. For the past 52 weeks the share price has ranged from a $90.97 high to a low of $56.30.