By Jaewon Kang | Bloomberg

Walmart is in talks to buy Irvine-based TV maker Vizio Holding Corp. for more than $2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Discussions are ongoing and a deal may not materialize, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Walmart and Vizio declined to comment.

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Rising share value earlier this week advanced the Irvine company’s market capitalization to about $1.9 billion.

The acquisition of a television maker could benefit Walmart’s lucrative advertising division, which the company has been building up as it seeks to go beyond the core business of retailing. Web-connected smart TVs can be used to engage more directly with consumers and deliver personalized ads to viewers.

Walmart Connect, as the advertising unit is called, has been adding more capabilities online and in stores. The company in 2021 brought on Seth Dallaire, a former executive at Instacart, as its chief revenue officer to lead its advertising, membership and data businesses, among others. Kroger Co. and other Walmart competitors have also been growing their advertising business.

If the deal comes to fruition under the reported terms, it would be the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company’s largest since it paid $16 billion for 77% of the Indian retailer Flipkart in 2018.

In July, Walmart said it had paid $1.4 billion to buy Tiger Global Management’s remaining stake in Flipkart. Bloomberg News reported in September that Walmart was exploring the purchase of a majority stake in ChenMed, a closely held operator of primary-care clinics for seniors.

Walmart has moved away from some of the startup brands it acquired in the 2010s, selling plus-size apparel maker Eloquii and Bonobos menswear last year.

Walmart had purchased several companies under the direction of former e-commerce chief Marc Lore, who came to Walmart following the retail giant’s purchase of for $3.3 billion in 2016. Walmart has instead renewed focus on building its in-house apparel business and expanding the selection of goods available on its website from third-party sellers.

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