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SA Merger Legislation Sufficiently Robust To Protect Interests Of All Stakeholders

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Joburg 20 July 2011

Parliamentary Hearings update
In line with the revised parliamentary portfolio committee hearing rules announced by the Chairperson of the portfolio committee at the start of proceedings yesterday, Massmart CEO Grant Pattison’s submission before parliament today dealt primarily with the competition approval process, while highlighting some of the merger benefits.

“I want to bring to your attention some of the benefits of the Massmart-Walmart merger in addressing some of the challenges our country faces. These include the creation of 15 000 jobs within five (5) years in the merged entity; the expenditure of approximately R60-billion on food, most of which will be procured from local suppliers and (our commitment to) working closely with local manufacturers, suppliers and black-owned businesses,” said Pattison.

Focussing on the competition approval process, Pattison said the merging parties had experienced the process as rigorous and one that generates a high level of involvement from all interested stakeholders.

“It is our opinion that the existing legislation and enforcement mechanisms are more than sufficient in regulating mergers and their potential effects on employment, the economy, small business and manufacturing. All stakeholders are well represented and are afforded sufficient opportunities for their concerns to be addressed,” he said.

Pattison added that opportunities exist to finesse the process, for example, tightening the definition of public interest to balance public interest issues with competition considerations.

Notes to Editors
The proposed Massmart Walmart transaction was first announced on 27 September 2010. After receiving shareholder, JSE and regulatory approvals, the transaction was finally concluded on 20 June 2011.

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