Shoprite sells Nigerian supermarkets, set for December exit

Shoprite is ready to make a clean break from Africa's largest market after 16 years.

Shoprite is awaiting approval of sale from Nigerian authorities [Reuters]

reuters

South African-owned retail giant, Shoprite, is edging closer to leaving Nigeria following the disposal of a 100% equity stake in its Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Ltd subsidiary.

The company first announced in August 2020 that it was discontinuing operations in Nigeria, citing a reevaluation of its operating model.

The retailer has now announced in its latest financial report that the terms of sale have been concluded, and awaiting the approval of the Nigerian Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC).

The company expects the transaction to be approved by the end of the 2021 financial year after which it will make a clean break from Africa's largest market after 16 years.

Despite the planned exit, the retailer said it is in the process of concluding a franchise agreement for the Shoprite brand to remain in Nigeria.

This will include administration and services agreement to provide support to the new shareholders operating the outlets.

Shoprite employees last week engaged in industrial strike action, picketing some of the retailer's outlets in the country to protest its exit.

Among a list of other demands, the workers said they must be paid off and not transferred to new owners without their consent.

In response, the company instructed the protesters to return to work immediately or risk dismissal.

A memo signed by Divisional Human Resources Manager, Adeola Kagho, urged the protesters to follow established internal company procedures to address any grievances.

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