The share prices of Steinhoff and Shoprite plunged on Wednesday following the announcement that the retail conglomerates were discussing a potential merger of their African retail interests to create a "retail champion" on the continent. Both stocks fell more than 7%, as shareholders were left in the dark over the finer details of the deal, which would see Shoprite acquiring Steinhoff’s African retail operations in exchange for Shoprite shares. Steinhoff owns Pep, Ackermans, Hi-Fi Corporation, Timbercity, Pennypinchers, Tekkie Town and Incredible Connection, among others. Steinhoff would acquire the Shoprite shares that are held by the Public Investment Corporation and by billionaire Christo Wiese (through Titan Premier Investments) in the form of a Steinhoff-for-Shoprite share exchange at a ratio still to be agreed, the companies said.The deal could trigger a mandatory offer to Shoprite shareholders based on the same exchange ratio, they said.Shoprite shareholders might have been e...

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