Walmart set to rethink Massmart bid

01 November 2010

JOHANNESBURG: The world's biggest retailer, Walmart, is considering scaling back its $4 billion (€2.89bn; £2.51bn) bid for the South African retailer Massmart.

Following criticism by both shareholders and analysts that the retail giant should instead concentrate on resolving the significant problems with its US business, Walmart is now considering taking a 50% stake in the firm rather than opting for the full buyout it first envisaged, Massmart has confirmed.

The revised bid is still large enough to rank as Walmart's biggest non-US venture and, notably, the first move by a major mass market US chain into sub-Saharan Africa.

But Massmart - South Africa's third biggest retailer with 290 stores in the country - might itself have reservations about the terms of the deal.

With the country expected to have a population of some two billion by 2050, Africa is becoming an increasingly attractive target for global advertisers.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff