Wal-Mart Makes Firm Offer For Massmart

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Wal-Mart has offered more than $2 billion for South African retailer Massmart, which operates in 14 African countries. The deal is part of Wal-Mart's strategy to expand in what it believes to be high growth areas, as sales in the U.S. slow down.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

NPR's business news starts with a Wal-Mart deal in South Africa.

(Soundbite of music)

MONTAGNE: Wal-Mart has offered more than $2 billion for the South African retailer Massmart. Massmart operates in 14 African countries. The deal is part of Wal-Mart's strategy to expand into what it believes to be high-growth areas, as sales here in the U.S. slow down.

Wal-Mart had wanted to buy the entire company, but scaled back its offer for Massmart to a controlling 51 percent stake. The deal has raised concerns among South Africa's powerful labor unions, who are worried about what they see as Wal-Mart's anti-union policies.

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