Shoprite sells Nigerian business after battling disruption and repatriation of money

Shoprite, Africa’s largest food retailer, sold its Nigerian business to local investors 16 years after opening its first outlet in the continent’s most populous country.

The company sold its stake to Ketron Investment, a Nigerian company owned by a group of local investors led by real estate firm Persianas Investment, Ketron said in an emailed statement.

Shoprite is shifting its strategy “from a property model to a franchise model,” Ketron said. The acquisition has been approved by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission of Nigeria.

With the sale, Shoprite becomes the last South African company to leave the West African nation in the past decade. The retailer operated 25 outlets in eight states of Africa’s largest economy, but was grappling with disruption. Ketron said he plans to open new ones and display more products made in Nigeria.

“We look forward to building an even stronger business after our acquisition,” said Tayo Amusan, President of Ketron.

Shoprite, which operates 2,843 supermarkets in 15 countries, serving 35 million customers in Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, has had to deal with supply chain disruptions and repatriation of funds – two familiar issues to foreign companies in the Nigerian market.

Such blockages have prompted other South African retailers, including Woolworths, Truworths International and Mr Price Group, to leave Nigeria.

KPMG Advisory Services, MBO Capital and the law firm Banwo and Ighodalo advised Ketron on the deal, the statement said.

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