Shoprite We’ll Hoff and we’ll poff
Shoprite and furniture manufacturer Steinhoff are looking at doing some sort of deal according to our shifty, unshaven colleagues in the financial press. And should this happen, it will be huge – Steinhoff is an employer of 45 000 people globally, and is invested in major markets such as China, Germany and the UK – where perhaps it might allow Shoprite a toehold. Steinhoff has been looking at owning a retail outlet back here in SA, something the boys in red would be able to provide, through OK Furniture – doing very nicely in an otherwise depressed market – and Checkers Hyper. And together, they have a market capitalisation of around R55 billion, of which Shoprite’s share is just over R33 billion. A share swap might see Mnr Wiese selling part or all of his stock for Steinhoff stock, although Mnr Wiese, understandably at this delicate stage of proceedings which may or may not be underway, is not saying. A caveat – there are some mutterings that Mr Basson is less than enamoured of the deal – and that it was his reluctance which saw the Massmart merger scuppered back in ’05.
Comment: A massive shakeup, potentially, and perhaps the beginning of the fulfillment of Shoprite’s dream of being a truly global player.