AD AGE'S WORLD WIRE: SEARS SELLS MOST OF MEXICAN BUSINESS: HBO BOOSTS CZECH, SLOVAK MARKETS: KIMBERLY-CLARK BUYS SPANISH DIAPERS: KELLOGG TO BUILD BASE IN THAILAND

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[mexico city] Sears, Roebuck & Co. is to sell 60% of its Mexican operation to Grupo Carso, a Mexican conglomerate, for $103 million. Sears Mexico retains the right to use the Sears name in Mexico, however, under an exclusive license with a five-year initial term. Sears will retain a 15% interest following the sale. "The management of Grupo Carso has clearly signaled its intention to expand the number of Sears outlets, protect the Sears brand and grow the concept in Mexico," said Sears Chairman-CEO Arthur C. Martinez. Grupo Carso has holdings in construction, auto parts, consumer goods and retailing, including the Sanborns chain.

[prague] Time Warner's Home Box Office, using a new satellite-delivery system, is expanding its reach and programming hours in the Czech market and is entering the Slovak Republic for the first time. HBO entered the Czech Republic as a program provider and as a cable operator through its subsidiary KabelNet in 1994. The service now offers three channels, HBO, SuperMax for children and a documentary channel, Max 1. HBO has acquired 30,000 subscriptions out of 130,000 homes passed.

[zaragoza, spain] Kimberly-Clark Corp. is buying its way into the Spanish disposable diaper market with the acquisition of the Monbebe brand and production facilities from privately owned Lhysa/Autex for an undisclosed sum. Monbebe has a 21% market share in Spain, compared with market leader Procter & Gamble Co.'s 42% share for Dodot. K-C has said that ad spending for the Monbebe brand will be increased significantly from the current level of around $2 million per year.

[bangkok] Thailand is one of only four countries in the world where Kellogg Co. is not the market leader in breakfast cereals-a situation visiting CEO Arnold Langbo vowed to change recently. Mr. Langbo was in Thailand to open the company's 36th plant. With Thailand as a production base for Southeast Asia, the company is hoping that Thailand and the Philippines will drop off the short list of countries where its rivals dominate, leaving only Chile and Portugal. Imported Kellogg's cereals are hit with a 60% tariff. The ready-to-eat cereal market in Thailand is now worth about $16 million, with about 70% accounted for by cereals aimed at children. The market is expected to grow by about 30% a year due to changing lifestyles. Kellogg's agency in Thailand is Leo Burnett Co.

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