Walmart may modify its offer to acquire South African retailer Massmart, meaning the Johannesburg company could retain a listing.

In September Walmart made a non-binding proposal to acquire Massmart for $4.2bn.

Massmart said today: “Having consulted major Massmart shareholders and key South African stakeholders regarding the proposed offer, Walmart is investigating potential options for and the merits of retaining Massmart’s listing on the exchange.

“These investigations could lead to Walmart making a partial offer to acquire in excess of 50% of the entire issued share capital of the company.” The price per share to be offered would remain the same.

Walmart’s proposed deal has been opposed by South African unions.