Namibia: Walmart Deal Under Review

In June 2011, Walmart took a 51% stake in Massmart, which operates in 14 African countries including Namibia.  The acquisition is proving difficult for Walmart, which is also awaiting judgment on appeals by the South African government and unions, which are seeking to block or attach more conditions on the deal.

 

The Namibian Supreme Court recently ruled that conditions imposed by its nation’s antitrust regulator on Walmart’s takeover of assets in that country must be reviewed by the Namibian trade minister.  It is a move that could deal a blow to the R16.5bn (US$2.1 billion) deal.  The ruling gives Trade and Industry Minister Hage Geingob a final say over whether conditions attached to the deal by the Namibian Competition Commission are adequate.

 

Under Namibian competition law, Geingob’s review of the conditions could lead to the deal being overturned or having conditions amended and added.

 

The Namibian Competition Commission approved the deal earlier this year, on condition it does not lead to job cuts and Walmart sells stakes to historically disadvantaged communities, among others.

 

While Walmart welcomed the ruling, it said any new conditions imposed by the trade minister would be open to a legal challenge.

 

Click here to read article in Fin24 on deal.

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