Botswana's Choppies moves into Bulawayo

Botswana's Choppies moves into Bulawayo
Published: 30 October 2013
LOCAL mogul Raji Modi has sold off his entire stake in Sai Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd, paving the way for the entry into the Zimbabwe retail sector of Botswana's biggest retail outlet, Choppies Enterprise Limited.

Information obtained showed that Nanavac Investment (Pvt) Ltd - in which Botswana Stock Exchange-listed Choppies has a 49% stake while local entrepreneur Siqokoqela Mphoko holds 51% - had taken over Sai Enterprises.

The deal is in compliance with the country's indigenisation law.

According to the new deal, all the shops under Sai Enterprises will be rebranded to Choppies - beginning this November.

Modi confirmed the development and told this paper that the deal was one of the biggest in the country although he could not be drawn into disclosing the actual amount involved in the transaction.

He, however, could not disclose how much he sold Sai Enterprises Limited in a deal which has sent shivers in the highly competitive local retail market.

"I have sold off 100% of the business," Modi said.

"But I will remain the managing director of the new company and all the staff will be retained," he added.

The major shareholder in the new Zimbabwe deal, Mphoko, also confirmed the development and said under the venture they were targeting opening 100 shops by end of next month with 20 of the outlets expected to be located in Bulawayo.

"I am very excited about the deal and we are looking at opening 100 shops by end of 2014," Mphoko said.

"The company will be headquartered in Bulawayo and we are looking at possibly listing on the local bourse going forward. What I can say is the sky is the limit," he added.

Mphoko, who also has a controlling stake in one of Botswana's leading asset management companies, said the deal with Choppies was coming at a time when Zimbabwe was suffering negative publicity largely due to the unpopular indigenisation law which has been blamed for lack of investment.

He said the deal with Choppies was one of the biggest in the country and expected to create thousands of jobs going forward - although he also could not been drawn into disclosing the amount involved in transaction.

Modi is disposing his shareholding in Sai Enterprises hardly a month after taking over South Africa's retail outlet Shoprite which has in turn been rebranded into Aaroh Mart, situated at the Bulawayo Centre mall.

His former empire comprised 10 branches, among them its flagship, Bellevue Spar, Nkulumane Spar, Entumbane Spar, City Spar and Down Town Spar.

The business transaction firmly confirms Choppies's plans to expand into Zimbabwe, following its entry into South Africa three years ago.

Choppies issued an advisory statement on the Botswana Stock Exchange announcing that the company had entered into an agreement with a third party to acquire 49% of the business of a supermarket chain which runs 10 retail stores in Zimbabwe.

According to media reports the total consideration for the deal would be less than 5% of Choppies Enterprises Ltd's market capitalisation and the settlement of the consideration would be done over a period of time as the takeover of the stores progresses.

Choppies has 63 stores in Botswana, 13 outlets in South Africa and is reportedly mulling plans to expand to Zambia and Mozambique and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa in the near future.

Botswana's largest retail group is chaired by the country's former President Festus Mogae.  
- southerneye
Tags: Choppies,


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