Shoprite plans to open up its retail supermarkets in Nigeria to potential investors, which may lead to the sale of some or all its stake in the country.
Already, the company, in itsOperational and Voluntary Trading Update published on Monday, says the Nigerian subsidiary of Shoprite Holdings Limited may later be classified as “a discontinued operation” when it reports its results for the year.
The publication was dated August 3, 2020, complete with names of stakeholders given as: Pieter Engelbrecht [Chief Executive Officer]; Anton de Bruyn [Chief Financial Officer]; Adele Lambrechts [Corporate affairs and communications]; and Natasha Moolman [Investor relations].
Shoprite, which started operation in Nigeria in 2005, is a leading South African mass retail supermarket, with about 25 outlets in the country.
In an email response to enquiries from the company’s media team in South Africa, the company referred our Correspondent to the section of the operational and trading update stating its plans to discontinue operations in Nigeria.
Quoting the document, the media team said, “Following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the group’s operating model in Nigeria, the board has decided to initiate a formal process to consider the potential sale of all, or a majority stake, in Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Shoprite International Limited.
“As such, Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for the year. Any further updates will be provided to the market at the appropriate time.”
According to the full-year sales report for the period ended June 28, 2020, the Nigerian subsidiary reported negative sales growth of -6.3 per cent.
Meanwhile, the Country Manager, Chastest Consult, a Public Relations Company for Shoprite Nigeria, Mr. Ini Archibong, in a telephone conversation with our Correspondent, denied the report, saying the company had over $30bn investment in Nigeria.
According to him, the company was not ready to abandon its investment in Nigeria.
“Shoprite is not leaving Nigeria. With over $30bn investment in the country, the company will not leave the country,” he said.
The PUNCH, alongside other global media, had reported that the company was to exit Nigeria.
See the bromide of the statement: