Wal-Mart plans Africa debut with $4.2 billion buy of S. Africa’s Massmart

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The Guardian reports that USA-based Wal-Mart , the world’s biggest supermarket, is planning into Africa with a $4.2 billion bid e to buy South Africa’s third-largest retailer MassMart. Massmart has 290 shops, mostly in South Africa, with 24 stores in 12 other African countries including Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana. It manages eight wholesale and retail chains under various brand names. The group reported sales of $6.1bn last year.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, is planning a major move into the fast-expanding African market, announcing today that it is in talks to buy South Africa’s third-largest retailer, Massmart.

The move, which would be worth $4.2bn (£2.65bn), will be overseen by Asda’s chairman, Andy Bond, who is responsible for operations in Africa. Wal-Mart is offering 148 rand (£13.40) a share for Massmart, which is nearly 10% higher than its last closing price.

The acquisition would be Africa’s biggest deal in more than a decade, and Wal-Mart’s largest since it bought the UK supermarket chain Asda in 1999. In May, it agreed to acquire 194 stores in the UK from the Danish discount chain Netto for nearly £800m, although competition regulators are forcing it to sell 25% of the shops.