Shoprite’s new owner unmasked

By Kasim Bakare

Fresh facts have emerged on the identity of the new owner of  foremost South African retailer, Shoprite.

A Nigerian property company, Persianas, will be taking over Shoprite’s local business in Nigeria. Persianas is buying Shoprite’s Nigerian business after the South African retailer decided to divest its equity in its Nigerian operations. Persianas is owned by Tayo Amusan

Amusan is a businessman and a major player in the real estate business in Nigeria. Some of his properties house the stores of Shoprite.

Amusan founded Persianas in 1990. In 2004, he launched, The Palms. Owing to the success of The Palms in Lagos, he floated three additional malls in Enugu, Kwara, Ota and Ibadan. Amusan sits on the board of several Nigerian companies, including African Paints Nigeria Limited, and he is also the chairman of Resourcery Limited.

Recall that on Monday, August 3, 2020, Shoprite International Limited, had mulled exiting from its Nigerian operations due to the effect of the Covid-19 on its business. The South African retailer has been struggling in Nigeria in recent years owing largely to increased competition and government policies such as border closures and local production of consumables. In the period that the company debuted in Nigeria, the nation has witnessed a surge in online shopping platforms, many of which have done well in swaying customers’ buying habits away from the big malls like Shoprite. The Covid-19 only made a bad situation worse.

It would be recalled that the covid-19-imposed lockdowns restricted physical presence and offline transactions, which was primarily the brick-and-mortar retail operating model of Shoprite. Regrettably, the company recorded a huge loss during the pandemic significantly because of its operating model.

In a bid to stay afloat, the company decided to divest its equity and invite interested buyers. After successful talks with investors, and in line with its re-evaluation of the Group’s operating model in Nigeria, Shoprite announced the sale of Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Shoprite International Limited, to a new investor, through a disclosure in its recently released December 2020 Financial report.




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