Last month, Steinhoff International Holdings announced its intention to combine its African retail holdings with those of Shoprite Holding Limited. The planned merger would, in effect, form a retail giant on the African continent given Shoprite already stands as Africa’s largest supermarket chain. Shoprite is expected to acquire the entirety of Steinhoff’s African retail operations which include Ackermans, JD Group, John Craig, Pepkor Africa, Pep SA, Refinery and Dunns, Shoe City, and Specialty Group.
Shoprite chairperson Christo Wiese already owns 18% of Steinhoff and 16% of Shoprite and has logically assumed the role of brokering the deal between the two sides. Shoprite’s founder and CEO Whitey Basson stepped down at the end of December after 37 years at the helm, which left the company and its successor to navigate an unclear future.