Walmart in Africa move with $4.27bn deal to buy Massmart
WALMART is set to take its first step in Africa in a $4.27bn (€3.17bn) deal brokered by Andy Bond, the former Asda chief executive.
The world's biggest retailer is in exclusive talks to buy Massmart, South Africa's third-biggest quoted retailer, in a deal worth 30 billion rand (€3.17bn).
Mr Bond, who stood down as chief executive of Asda in May, led the negotiations in the deal that would give Walmart exposure to the rapidly growing South African economy.
The acquisition would be Walmart's biggest since it bought Asda a decade ago and may reignite speculation that it is willing to buy its way to growth in Britain. It has long been thought to have an interest in Home Retail Group, the owner of Argos and Homebase.
This year it bought Netto UK, the British division of the Danish discount retailer, for €915m.
Mr Bond left Asda after six months and became a part-time chairman. He said at the time that he would continue to work on "Walmart specific projects".
It is believed that Mr Bond, who remains Walmart's executive vice-president with responsibility for Britain and Africa, has been working on the deal for about 18 months.
He said yesterday that South Africa represented a "compelling growth opportunity for Walmart and offers a platform for growth and expansion in other African countries".
Massmart has 288 stores, more than 80pc of which are in South Africa, with the remainder spread across 12 countries including Ghana, Nigeria and Tanzania. It trades through several shopfronts, including a grocery business and a DIY chain. (Bloomberg)