Nigerians woke up on Monday to the news that ShopRite, the Africa’s largest food retailer is planning to exit Nigeria by selling off its outlets in the countryThe company later clarified the news in an update filed at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) that it is not ‘exiting Nigeria’ but opening up to sell some of the shares of its Nigerian subsidiary to local investors.
In the report, “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’’ .There had been a 6.3% decline in sales for the retail outlet in the 2020 fiscal year as posted by Shoprite.
Sources however, revealed that there are three companies that are currently in a corporate tussle to buy into the available stake of the retailer.Persianas Nigeria Limited, a property development company, owned by Tayo Amusan, is said to be the preferred bidder for the Shoprite stake.
Amusan is a businessman with investments in property development. Some of his properties currently house ShopRite in different locations.Persianas was founded in 1990 by Amusan, in 2004, he founded The Palms in Lagos, and due to its success and popularity, he floated three additional malls in Enugu, Kwara, Ota and Ibadan.Presently, Amusan sits on the board of several Nigerian companies, including African Paints Nigeria Limited, and he is also the chairman of Resourcery Limited.Though Amusan seems to be the most preferred option, the other bidders who may have the backings of a South African company and the Pension Fund, according to reports, are pushing hard on negotiation.
We also understand that the new deal to be struck would have Shoprite retain the management of its chain of operations, brand name, trademarks, and supply chain.In an internal memo of July 31 seen by Newsmen, Carl Erickson, general manager of the retailer, informed employees that the revision in the business is to make the company ‘’truly Nigerian’’.
The memo read: “The expansion of the retail business in Nigeria to a greater consumer market should remain everybody’s shared vision. It has, however, become apparent that the best manner in which to do this is by engaging Nigerian investors who share in this vision. In so doing we will be creating a truly Nigerian business run and owned by Nigerians for the Nigerian market.”