Tribunal to rule on Walmart-Massmart deal tomorrow

2011-05-30 07:18

The competition watchdog would announce its decision on Walmart’s $2.4 billion (R17 billion) offer for local retailer Massmart at 2pm tomorrow, according to the Competition Tribunal’s Nandi Mokoena.

The reasons for the decision would be released within 20 working days after, she said.

Walmart’s bid to take a 51% stake in the discount retailer is seen as a test case for major foreign investment in South Africa.

Three government departments and the country’s powerful unions have lined up against the deal, asking regulators to impose targets on local procurement and a freeze on job cuts.

The government and unions are concerned about Walmart’s global supply network which, they say, could lead to a flood of cheap imports, sparking job losses and squeeze local suppliers.

Walmart, which volunteered to preserve jobs for two years and spend R100 million to develop local suppliers, threatened to walk away or challenge the decision if local supplier targets are attached as conditions.

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