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Walmart Takes Stake in GM Autonomous-Vehicle Unit Cruise

Walmart's investment in Cruise brings the autonomous-vehicle company's latest funding round to $2.75 billion, up from $2 billion in January.
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Walmart  (WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report, the world’s biggest retailer, said Thursday that it was taking a stake in Cruise, the autonomous-driving company that’s majority-owned by General Motors  (GM) - Get General Motors Company Report.

This brings Cruise’s latest funding round to $2.75 billion, the companies said in a statement to Bloomberg. 

That’s up from the $2 billion Cruise unveiled in January when Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report took a stake.

The Walmart investment, which wasn't specified, puts Cruise’s post-investment valuation at more than $30 billion, Cruise said.

“Today we’re taking the next step in our work with autonomous vehicles by making an investment in Cruise, the San Francisco-based company enabling a self-driving future through their all-electric fleet of self-driving cars,” John Furner, chief executive of Walmart U.S., said in a statement.

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“The investment will aid our work toward developing a last-mile-delivery ecosystem that’s fast, low-cost and scalable.”

Walmart and GM shares firmed in an up market on Thursday. Walmart recently traded at $140.21, up 0.6% and GM at $58.72, up 0.4%.

In other Walmart news this month, McDonald's MCD said that by summer's end it planned to close hundreds of its outlets in the retailer's stores.

By that time the Chicago fast-food icon will have about 150 locations within the Bentonville, Ark., retailing behemoth's U.S. stores. 

That's down from 500 at the start of the year and from an overall peak of about 1,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In other GM news, the carmaker reportedly planned to idle another North American plant as a result of the shortage in global semiconductor supplies.