Shoprite Schrödinger’s Merger
“What would you benefit by putting Anglo American and Toyota together?” asked a magnificently oblique Whitey Basson, when quizzed by reporters about a speculative merger between Shoprite and furniture giant Steinhoff. Kicking the question up the tree, he suggested that Oom Christo would be the man to ask about such a deal. Oom C said with equal impenetrability that theories about such a deal “may be as right as they are wrong”, like the cat in Schrödinger’s speculative box. In the “for” column is the fact that Steinhoff is looking to double its value in the next five years, and that Shoprite’s furniture division could use a little help. Also, of course, that Oom Christo is a pivotal figure in both businesses. In the “against”, would be the fact that Shoprite is doing just fine on its own.
Comment: Amidst all the brouhaha in the press about this potential transaction, Whitey let slip the fact that Shoprite is looking once more to open shop in India, and to expand to markets like Vietnam and Cambodia. There, now, is a story.