South African retailer Massmart’s shareholders have approved a $2.39bn tie-up with Walmart.

The world’s biggest retailer will pay the sum for a 51% controlling stake in Massmart.

The deal was approved at a shareholder meeting today in Johannesburg, when 97.7% of those present and eligible to vote nodded the offer through.

South Africa’s courts and competition authorities still need to give a go-ahead to the takeover by Walmart.

Massmart chief executive Grant Pattison said: “This is an important milestone and we now await the decision from the competition authorities.”