NEW YORK -- The shareholders of South African Massmart chain have overwhelmingly accepted Wal-Mart's offer to buy 51% of their company, the chief executive said Monday, paving the way for Wal-Mart to enter Africa.
Massmart said the proposal was approved by 97% of shareholders who voted Monday -- 75% approval had been needed. Wal-Mart offered 148 rand (about $20) per share in a 17 billion rand (about $2 billion) deal.
The deal will have to be approved by South Africa's anti-monopoly regulators.
Massmart CEO Pattison said once the deal goes through, Massmart will continue to operate the stores and continue to be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, while Wal-Mart will be the main owner. Massmart runs about 290 big-box, pharmacy, electronics and other stores in 14 African countries.
"They are a great retailer and we really are looking forward to learning something from them, and teaching them something about Africa," Pattison told The Associated Pr