No one seems more surprised at the level of interest in the listing of Dis-Chem than Ivan Saltzman, who founded the pharmacy chain - one of the most successful family businesses in South Africa - 38 years ago with his wife, Lynette. It is the largest food and drug retailer listing in the past decade, as well as one of the largest new listings overall. This week, Saltzman was feeling "a little emotional" as the family prepared to sell a portion of the group and take some of the proceeds from their years in business. "I'm a little surprised at the interest, I really am." The business has grown at a stellar pace, especially over the past few years. At the time the prospectus was released last month there were 101 stores. Since then, that tally has grown to 106. Two stores were opened on Tuesday and six are to open on Thursday. Everyone wants to open before Christmas, and the last Thursday of November is the best day for this. "If you open later, you're constrained to some degree," says...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now