Walmart set to scale back offer for Massmart

WAL-MART, the world’s biggest retailer, may scale back its $4bn bid for Massmart by nearly half, a move that could keep the South African firm listed in Johannesburg.

Wal-Mart is now considering taking more than a 50 per cent stake, rather than a full buyout, Massmart said in a statement yesterday. The offer price was still 148 rand per share, Massmart said. Wal-Mart has been under increasing fire from its shareholders to revive its ailing US stores, and some analysts have said it should concentrate on fixing its business at home before spending big on expansion.

A revised bid could also reflect dissatisfaction from Massmart shareholders at the deal, given the immense potential for growth in Africa, where the population is expected to reach 2bn by 2050.