Wires

Wal-Mart ordered to double S.Africa fund to $23 mln

JOHANNESBURG, Oct 9 (Reuters) - A South African court onTuesday ordered the local unit of Wal-Mart to double aplanned fund for small suppliers to $23 million, ending morethan a year of legal wrangling over its entry into Africa.

The Competition Appeal Court ruled that Massmart Holdings, which is 51 percent owned by the world's biggestretailer, must spend up to 200 million rand ($23 million) ondeveloping local suppliers over the next five years.

Wal-Mart last year promised to spend 100 million rand ondeveloping small suppliers as a condition of its $2.4 billiondeal to buy control of Massmart.

Government and unions had appealed the deal, seeking tougherconditions.

The Cape Town-based Competition Appeal Court dismissed thatappeal in March and set up a commission - which includedeconomist Joseph Stiglitz - to study whether the proposed 100million rand fund over three years was enough.

"Allowing for inflation and an extension of the period bytwo further years, 200 million (rand) appears to us to be afigure that is sufficient to meet the objectives of the fund,"the court said in its ruling on Tuesday.

Shares of Massmart finished up 1.9 percent at 167 rand.($1 = 8.8828 South African rand)

(Reporting by Tiisetso Motsoeneng)

((tiisetso.motsoeneng@thomsonreuters.com)(+27 11 7753122)(Reuters Messaging:tiisetso.motsoeneng.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MASSMART WALMART/