Wal-Mart to pay $2.3 bln for South Africa company

13:57, November 30, 2010      

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, said Monday it has agreed to pay 2.3 billion U.S. dollars for control of South Africa's Massmart Holdings Ltd.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart said it will buy 51 percent of Johannesburg-based discount retailer Massmart, short of a full ownership to gain support from shareholders and the government.

The investment will give Wal-Mart a substantial presence in South Africa and then pave the way for its further expansion in the sub-Saharan region.

The acquisition is reported to be the second biggest Wal-Mart has made, following its 11-billion-U.S.-dollar takeover of Asda in Britain in 1999.

Massmart, founded in 1990, operates approximately 250 stores in 13 sub-Saharan countries and is the leading retailer of general merchandise, liquor and home improvement equipment and supplies and the leading wholesaler of basic foods.

Wal-Mart is trying to expand internationally to make up for slowing growth in the U.S., where its same-store sales have fallen for six consecutive quarters.



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