Big moves by international business into South Africa

In the past two months there has been news about international businesses making big moves into South Africa.

The first news was in July when the Japanese telco conglomerate NTT made an offer to buy Dimension Data; the take-over was recently given regulatory approval.

The next story was banking giant HSBC’s offer to buy Old Mutual’s controlling stake in Nedbank.

The last story, which came out yesterday, was the US retailer Wallmart announcing it was looking at buying Massmart.

This seems to be a sign that Africa’s economic growth and potential is at last being recognised by more than just mining companies.

On the down side, there are some concerns about international companies buying local ones that are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), as this reduces the size of the local stock market, especially as the companies being bought are major entities on the JSE. On the plus side, it’s a sign of the recognised excellence of the SA companies and that their experience is critical to strategies that involve entering the larger African market.

Feel free to make your comments about these acquisitions here. I wonder if this might start big international software companies from thinking that a territory called EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) is appropriate, but instead have Europe, Middle East and Africa as separate divisions.

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