Shoprite It’s going to be yuge.
So here’s how it’s going to go down, listen carefully: Shoprite are going to acquire the African retail assets of Steinhoff, including Pep, Ackermans, the Speciality Group, including Shoe City, John Craig, Refinery and Dunns, and the Pep and Ackermans African operations. And for this lot, Shoprite will pay Steinhoff handsomely, in shares, following which Steinhoff will hold a “significant interest” in the newly-bolstered Shoprite Group. The value of the transaction will be negotiated, we are told, “taking into account the best interests of both Steinhoff and Shoprite shareholders.” Both of which groups include, as you know, a Mr. C. Wiese. The resulting entity will be known with a certain justifiable inevitability as Retail Africa, and it will have sufficient heft to see off any global competitors, positioning the combined businesses as the leading multi-format discount retailer on this majestic continent we call home. Additional benefits will include infrastructure and services sharing; product specialization and indeed product diversification; supply chain optimisation; customer loyalty, choice and convenience; and people management benefits. As part of the deal, Steinhoff will also be buying out the respective Shoprite shareholdings of Titan and the PIC in a share exchange.
Comment: Impressive. Great for the business in Africa, although back here at home we might feel a certain sense of disquiet at this massive chunk of consolidation hurtling toward the retail industry like the asteroid out of ‘Armageddon’.