Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Shoprite, Africa’s largest grocer, provided details on Thursday on how it plans  to unwind a 20-year-old control structure. Under the existing structure, control of Shoprite is held with businessman Christo Wiese. In terms of the planned deal, Wiese will pick up an additional 20-million Shoprite shares at zero cost, in exchange for canceling his 305.6-million Shoprite deferred shares, which control 32.3% of the grocer’s voting rights. The 20-million shares have a market value of about R3.5bn.  The proposed transaction, which was initially flagged in March, will see Wiese’s controlling stake in the group reduced from about 42% to 17.8%, in line with his economic interest. The deferred shares were issued to Wiese in 2000 at a nominal value of 0.01c a share when the Pepgro pyramid structure was collapsed. Wiese attempted to cash in his controlling stake in Shoprite back in October 2017 at the time of the proposed merger with Steinhoff’s African operation, Steinhoff Retail Africa (St...

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