South Africa’s Massmart gets New Ownership

By: Margarita Williams

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is buying a controlling stake in South Africa’s Massmart, a chain retail store with locations  in 14 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The offer comes about a month after Wal-Mart disclosed it would  make a partial offer instead buying all of Massmart  which was the original plan. The stake was sold for 17 billion rand, approximately $2 billion. By taking 51 percent of Massmart, Wal-Mart will gain control of the company but keep it listed in Johannesburg.

Massmart is Africa’s third-largest distributor of consumer goods, the leading retailer of general merchandise, liquor and home improvement equipment and supplies and the leading wholesaler of basic foods.

This isn’t Wal-Mart’s first international venture. In addition to its fully owned international operations as Woolco in Canada and Asda in the UK , Wal-Mart has joint ventures in China and several majority-owned subsidiaries. Wal-Mart’s majority-owned subsidiary in Mexico is Walmex, in Japan Wal-Mart owns about 53% of Seiyu among others international chains.

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