Namibia to review Walmart deal
Fin24 - Nov 8th 2011, 09:43
Johannesburg - A Namibian court has ruled the antitrust regulator’s conditions on Walmart Stores' takeover of Massmart Holdings [JSE:MSM] assets in that country must be reviewed by the trade minister, a move that could deal a blow to the R16.5bn deal.
Walmart in June took a 51% stake in Massmart, which operates in 14 African countries including Namibia.
But 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 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.
“The merged parties look forward to a speedy completion of the ministerial review, and any further legal proceedings to which this may give rise,” the company said.
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