By  on November 29, 2010

PARIS — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has acquired 51 percent of Johannesburg-based retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd for 17 billion South African rand, or $2.36 billion at current exchange rates, the two companies announced.

The world’s largest retailer paid 148 rand, or $20.55, per share, in line with a preliminary and nonbinding proposal made in September.

This represents a premium of 19.2 percent to the 30-day volume weighted average price as of Sept. 23, the last trading day prior to the first cautionary announcement regarding Wal-Mart’s interest, Massmart said in a statement.

The Massmart board has unanimously approved the transaction, which must now garner the support of 75 percent of shareholders and be approved by South African competition authorities, it added.

Massmart operates 288 stores across 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, though most of the stores are in South Africa.

“The offer is in line with Wal-Mart’s strategy to grow its international business by increasing its exposure to emerging markets with high growth potential,” the two firms said in a joint statement. “South Africa presents a compelling growth opportunity for Wal-Mart and offers a platform for expansion into the rest of Africa.”

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