Okeahalam, C.Charles and Wood, Steve
Financing internationalisation–a case study of an African retail transnational corporation
Journal of Economic Geography, 9, (4), . (doi:10.1093/jeg/lbn056).
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Economic geographers are directing increasing attention to international expansion by leading retail transnational corporations (TNCs). However, there has been minimal examination of the financing methods of these firms and, while the major retail TNCs have supply relationships in sub-Saharan Africa, so far none have opened stores on the continent. Therefore, in this article we analyse expansion into sub-Saharan Africa by a second tier retail TNC (Shoprite) and explore its financing strategy. We find that the food retail sector in sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing strong growth with high financial returns. We identify a pecking order to financing the firm—with a preference for internal funding through retained earnings preceding long-term debt, and limited issuance of equity as a last resort. Given the efficiencies of debt financing, this preference is interpreted as reluctance to dilute returns to shareholders and as a pragmatic approach to financing expansion in ‘particularistic’ business environments
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