BY Kayode Oyero
South African Company, Shoprite Holdings Limited, says it will auction off its outlets in Nigeria. This is coming about 15 years after it opened its first store in Lagos in December 2005.
The megastore company with presence in most Nigerian cities hinged this decision on the coronavirus pandemic which has disrupted major businesses globally.
In an “Operational and Voluntary Trading Update (52 Weeks Ended 28 June 2020)” released on Monday, the company said it has been approached by “various potential investors”.
The update partly read, “Despite difficult circumstances, in a year incorporating the COVID-19 lockdown and accompanying regulations governing trade, transport and operations, the Group increased total sale of merchandise for the 52 weeks to 28 June 2020 (including the impact of hyperinflation in the prior year) by 6.4% to approximately R156.9 billion. Like-for-like growth for the year was 4.4%.
“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.”
The company, which provides jobs for more than 2,000 Nigerians, has over 25 stores across eight states of the Federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The South African business established 40 years ago with over 500 stores across the continent is arguably Africa’s largest grocery retailer.