BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores last week said it has made a preliminary offer to acquire South African retailer Massmart Holdings for about $4.2 billion, a move that would give the global retailer its first foothold on the African continent. Massmart, based in Johannesburg, operates 290 stores in 14 African countries, with the majority in South Africa. It operates eight different wholesale and retail chains under several different banners, offering general merchandise, electronics, ...

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