Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

Shoprite founder and chair Christo Wiese is adamant there is no room for negotiation around the terms of a proposed share repurchase scheme that is set to net him R3.5bn. Wiese’s comments come amid mounting opposition to the proposed 20-million Shoprite shares he will be granted in exchange for cancelling the 265-million deferred shares, which have no financial value but control 32.3% of the group’s votes. These deferred shares have given the retail mogul effective control of Africa’s largest grocer since 2000. Wiese told Business Day on Thursday that while the media had focused on shareholders who opposed the transaction, "there are many shareholders who don’t object". He also said it was the Shoprite board that had initially recommended the deal and asked him to consider it. The board has told shareholders the transaction will simplify the company’s voting share structure "and align the company with international best corporate governance practice". Ahead of the transaction, Wiese...

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