South Africa re­tail merger col­lapses

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

South African re­tail group Stein­hoff and su­per­mar­ket chain Sho­prite have aban­doned a $14bn deal to cre­ate Africa's big­gest shop net­work.

The tie-up would have been the lat­est ex­pan­sion­ary move by Stein­hoff, which bought the UK's Pound­land dis­count chain last year.

But the merger talks foundered af­ter Sho­prite share­hold­ers com­plained they were get­ting a bad deal.

Stein­hoff shares rose 7% in Johannesburg, while Sho­prite jumped 6%.

Paul Chakaduka, a trader at Global Trader, said the col­lapse of the deal would please many Stein­hoff share­hold­ers.

"For Sho­prite there has been this ma­jor over­hang around this ac­qui­si­tion for a very long time and I think it will free up any un­cer­tain­ties," he said.

Stein­hoff's brands in­clude Hard­ware Ware­house and cloth­ing store Pep.

As well as its South African op­er­a­tions, Sho­prite also has stores in An­gola and Nige­ria.

Stein­hoff owns 40 re­tail brands in 30 coun­tries, in­clud­ing Ben­sons for Beds and Har­veys in the UK.

One of the main back­ers of the deal was Christo Weise, the South African re­tail bil­lion­aire ranked by Forbes as the sec­ond-rich­est man in Africa.

Mr Weise owns 23% of Stein­hoff and 16% of Sho­prite.

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