Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

There’s a good chance this will be one of Christo Wiese’s last big deals and while it initially looked as though it would go according to plan, there are mounting signs of resistance to paying him a whopping R3.5bn for his Shoprite deferred shares. Ahead of any deal, the deferred shares, which are held only by Wiese-controlled Thibault, control 32.3% of Shoprite’s voting rights but have no economic value. In addition to the deferred shares Wiese holds 13.9% of Shoprite’s ordinary shares giving him a total voting block of 46.2%. The deal will see all the deferred shares being repurchased and cancelled in exchange for the issue of 20-million new Shoprite shares to Wiese, which means he will emerge with a voting and economic interest of 17.8%. On the day of the announcement Shoprite shares were trading at R178, putting a value of R3.56bn on the shares being granted to Wiese. Apart from the Public Investment Corporation,  which holds 11.4% and has not responded to requests for comme...

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