Massmart shareholders vote for Walmart deal

Massmart shareholders on Monday voted in favour of global retailer Walmart’s offer to acquire 51% of the local business, according to reports.

Shareholders voted to accept Walmart’s bid to buy 51% of Massmart for R148 a share in a deal worth around R17-billion, the Associated Press reported.

Members of the Anti-Walmart Coalition had planned to picket outside the Massmart officers in Sunninghill, Johannesburg while the shareholders’ meeting took place. They called off the demonstration at the last minute.

“The demonstration didn’t take place as the company threatened disciplinary action as a dispute had not been declared,” South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers’ Union (Saccawu) spokesperson Mike Abrahams told Sapa.

However, members of the Anti-Walmart Coalition attended the meeting.

“They are inside to present our case,” Abrahams said just before 11.30am.

The Anti-Walmart Coalition includes of various trade unions, including Saccawu, labour federation Congress of South African Trade Unions and civil society organisations.

It opposed the Walmart/Massmart deal because of the negative consequences it sees for Massmart workers, the wholesale and retail sector and its supply chains.

“We hope to show how this deal is not in the interests of the country and the national imperatives of transformation, economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation,” the coalition said in a statement on Sunday.—Sapa

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