Fin24

Walmart welcomes tribunal decision

2011-05-31 15:08

Johannesburg - The Competition Tribunal has approved the merger between Walmart and Massmart Holdings [JSE:MSM], saying the retail giant would not be allowed to lay off workers for the next two years.

The tribunal had accepted an offer made by Walmart/Massmart which included the establishment of a R100m supplier development fund, no merger-related retrenchments for two years and continued recognition of the SA Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union for three years post the merger. 

It also stipulated that the retailers give preference to re-employing 503 workers that were retrenched in 2010 prior to the proposed merger.

"We're pleased that the competition authorities have recognised the benefits that our investment in Massmart can deliver," said Walmart International CEO Doug McMillon.

"We look forward to creating new jobs in South Africa, support for the development of South African exports, and providing previously underserved customers and communities with better prices and increased access to the products they want and need. All of this is consistent with the benefits we've delivered to markets around the world," he said.

Walmart said in a statement that it intends to provide Massmart with increased financial stability and support to continue strengthening its presence in Africa.

"The combined Walmart/Massmart entity is planning significant new store openings, which will create thousands of new union jobs in South Africa, while in excess of a 50% growth is being anticipated in the Massmart food business over a five-year period," it said.

It said that in terms of fresh food growth, Walmart and Massmart have committed to ensure that the majority of those products will be sourced from South Africa. A substantial programme is being planned for the training and development of many thousands of local farmers, with a specific black economic empowerment focus, to assist in the delivery of the fresh food strategy.  

Massmart CEO Grant Pattison said it welcomed the prospect of joining the Walmart family.

"We will now advance our strategy to ensure that our financial base is geared to accelerate growth through the opening of additional locations, which will provide more jobs and also career opportunities for our existing team, while bringing more outstanding products with lower prices to our customers.  I look forward to the ongoing support of our loyal customers, our shareholders and our suppliers.”

Walmart said it would share its experiences gained around the globe with Massmart. 

McMillon said: "Whenever Walmart enters a new market, it introduces its global operating belief that being a responsible global citizen begins with being a responsible local citizen. Walmart looks forward to enhancing the already strong credentials that Massmart has in South Africa as a responsible and productive citizen that tirelessly builds on its relationships with communities, governments and consumers."

 

Comments
  • Virginia - 2011-05-31 15:53

    I trust that this will give hope to the farms that are being run by our majority nation farmers . Maybe with this incentive we might find less farms being run into the ground and actually producing, but I do see that this will be a BEE operation, so the current farmers who are not com pliant will not be able to sell their produce to Wallmart, this is what we call equality in South Africa. We did not have it before but we have it now??

  • AZB - 2011-05-31 16:03

    "The combined Walmart/Massmart entity is planning significant new store openings, which will create thousands of new union jobs in South Africa, while in excess of a 50% growth is being anticipated in the Massmart food business over a five-year period," Not difficult to guess where this is coming from; P&P, Checkers, Spar and the many independant wholesalers will be hurt and retrench staff. Unless this expansion is export related.

      King Solomon - 2011-05-31 16:17

      You forget that this is a springboard to the rest of Africa which Wallmart are targeting and we will no doubt be exporting local goods through this channel and creating jobs and bringing in foreign currency.

  • clivegoss - 2011-05-31 16:12

    Fabulous news. Walmart is into service, service "en nog" service.Those long faced sour pussus pretending to be interested at Game Builders and even Makro is in for a "moerse" wake up call.

  • Bosj - 2011-05-31 16:25

    doomed if you do doomed if you don't. If you accept Foreign Direct Investment, you must accept it with its issues, else don't accept it at all.

      Grunk - 2011-05-31 16:45

      Well there goes Massmart's contribution to the Fiscus

  • Shazred - 2011-05-31 16:44

    The is great news that Walmart is finally going to open stores. I just hope and pray the they keep to their formula and not after a year "South Afrikanize" and go to the dogs like everything else in this country.. Like Mc Donald’s foe example... And hopefully put Woolworths and Pick n Pay, Checkers, Spar ect in their places. Let us start getting good quality food for good prices instead of the "D" Grade stuff we have to buy for out of this world prices... It's so sad because we farm most of the stuff here, yet as South Africans we get the worst of the produce for the highest prices... So come on Walmart do it properly, give these other robbers a run for their money and let the South African working class people benefit for a change...

  • Lydon - 2011-05-31 16:56

    Excellent. Hopefully this will be the much-needed wake up call for South Africans. Learn the meaning of service or face losing your customers.

  • BENOUDEBOK - 2011-05-31 17:04

    This is great news for South Africa and even greater news for our future export and import opportunities. Welcome to Walmart and thanks for all the new job opportunities for all our people.

      riyaaz ismail - 2011-05-31 18:59

      Please do some basic research into this company and the way it operates across the world before making judgement as to the benefits/pitfalls of it.Walmart has been a union basher par excellance,it also opens stores a distance way from the main shopping areas(as land iis cheaper there) and then ddrowns out the opposition and virtually annihilates the entire supply chain with iits muscle.

  • BENOUDEBOK - 2011-05-31 17:20

    This is great news for South Africa and even greater news for our future export and import opportunities. Welcome to Walmart and thanks for all the new job opportunities for all our people.

  • garth.philpot - 2011-05-31 18:54

    the people of Walmart - SA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvxNgdFeWqM

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