Shoprite seeks local investors in Nigeria, denies exit rumour

Supermarket retailer, Shoprite, said it was open to local investors, dispelling the rumour about its planned exit from the country.

The firm, in a statement, said it did not make sense for it to leave the country after over $30billion investment.

The statement read:  “We have only just opened to Nigerian investors which we have also been talking about to just before now. We are not leaving, who leaves over $30billion investment and close shop? It doesn’t sound right.

“We are only giving this opportunity to Nigerian investors to come in and also help drive our expansion plan in Nigeria. So we are not leaving.”

A report had earlier suggested that the firm might sell “all or a majority stake” of its business in the country, 15 years after it opened shop.

A statement  had said the company said it is re-evaluating its operating model and has been approached by many investors willing to take over its Nigerian stores.

It added that it has decided to initiate a formal process to consider the sale of all or a majority stake in its retail supermarkets in the country.

“Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when ShopRite reports its results for the year. Any further updates will be provided to the market at the appropriate time,” the statement had read.

CNN contacted ShopRite but the company declined to comment beyond the content of the statement.

The company, with more than 2,900 outlets across Africa, also released its trading statement for 52 weeks to end June.

In the trading statement, it announced that its South African division grew by 8.7per cent while sales at its supermarkets outside South Africa (excluding Nigeria) fell by 1.4 per cent.

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