According to the Associated Press, regulators approved Walmart’s $2.4 billion bid to buy a controlling share of South African retail chain Massmart. The AP reports that the deal followed “a fierce debate over protectionism in the country with the continent’s most promising economy.”
Under the ruling, government agency the Competition Tribunal said Walmart and Massmart could not lay off any workers for two years, must respect Massmart’s existing labor agreements for three years, and must invest in training South African suppliers. The AP reports that the company had already pledged to spend $14 million over the next three years to help farmers and other South African suppliers.
Walmart CEO and president Doug McMillon said he expected the transaction to be completed in a few weeks..