Stein­hoff share deal for big Check­ers stake

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - TJ Stry­dom

SOUTH African re­tail group Stein­hoff said it planned to ac­quire a con­trol­ling stake in su­per­mar­ket op­er­a­tor Sho­prite through its African spin-off in a share deal worth R35.5 bil­lion.

Stein­hoff aban­doned plans to merge with Sho­prite in Fe­bru­ary, but bil­lion­aire Christo Wiese, who is the largest share­holder in both com­pa­nies and their chair­per­son, said he wanted to con­sol­i­date his hold­ings.

After the merger was called off, Stein­hoff moved to list its African re­tail as­sets sep­a­rately on the JSE and said on Fri­day that it had es­tab­lished a sin­gle com­pany, Star, through which to ef­fect the list­ing.

Stein­hoff has grad­u­ally ex­panded from a South African fur­ni­ture whole­saler to a global dis­count re­tailer, ac­quir­ing Bri­tain’s Pound­land, US-based Mat­tress Firm and Aus­tralia’s Fan­tas­tic in the past two years.

Ac­quir­ing con­trol of Sho­prite will give it ac­cess to gro­cery shop­pers in South Africa and 14 other African mar­kets, in­clud­ing the fast-grow­ing con­sumer hubs of Nige­ria, An­gola and Zambia.

Stein­hoff said it had en­tered into call op­tion agree­ments with Ti­tan Premier In­vest­ments, a com­pany ul­ti­mately con­trolled by a Wiese fam­ily trust, as well as the Pub­lic In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion and Lan­caster Group.

Once the call op­tions were ex­er­cised and im­ple­mented, Star would hold about 22.7per­cent of the eco­nomic in­ter­est and 50 per­cent of the vot­ing rights in Sho­prite. The deal would value Sho­prite’s or­di­nary shares, de­ferred vot­ing shares and cash at a com­bined R35.5bn, the com­pany said.

Star would re­main a unit of Stein­hoff and would house all the firm’s African as­sets ex­cept its lo­gis­tics unit Uni­trans, Stein­hoff said. Pep would be the largest sin­gle as­set in Star’s sta­ble. Stein­hoff bought it in 2014 for R63bn.


Christo Wiese, bil­lion­aire, chair­per­son and largest share­holder of Stein­hoff Hold­ings.

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