Wal-Mart IPO Set the Stage for Global Expansion

by George Waldon  on Monday, Jul. 2, 2012 12:00 am  

Mike Smith, left, was syndicate manager and J.D. Simpson was a corporate finance executive when they led the initial public offering of Wal-Mart stock by their employer, Stephens Inc. of Little Rock, in 1970.

In preparation for the IPO, a hodge-podge of ownership interests in different stores was consolidated under one corporate banner: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The corporation represented the merger of 78 partners that owned pieces of 32 stores, with the Walton family owning a majority stake in each. The stores also were a mixed bag of Wal-Mart Discount City, Ben Franklin, Walton's Family Center and Ben Franklin Family Center.

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