A South African tycoon is buying up some of Britain's most precious assets: its shops

Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s might soon face tough competition if Africa’s retail titan gets his way. (Reuters/Neil Hall)

Christo Wiese, the South African businessman behind Africa’s largest retailer, Shoprite, has his sights on entering the grocery sector in Britain through a possible acquisition. It would be the latest in a string of retail investments in the country Napoleon Bonaparte famously described as “a nation of shopkeepers.”

Wiese, who mooted his ambition in the British press, has been linked to a possible acquisition of Morrisons, UK’s fourth largest supermarket chain by market share. Wiese already owns a 18.7% stake in the UK-based frozen food retailer, Iceland Foods, through his investment company, Brait. He also recently acquired womenswear retailer New Look and gym chain Virgin Active.

Read more: A South African tycoon is buying up some of Britain’s most precious assets: its shops – Quartz