BOSTON -- Ciao Italia! Wal-Mart Stores may be about to come calling. The Bentonville, Ark., discounter is said to have offered to purchase high-end Italian supermarket chain Esselunga, a privately held company with sales of $3.7 billion, according to reports circulating in an Italian newspaper. A Wal-Mart spokesman did not return a call for comment. If true, the move would be consistent with Wal-Mart's pattern of entering new markets through acquisition, a strategy employed successfully ...

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